Why was DeAngelis not charged?

Posted: May 20, 2014

IT'S A MYSTERY why the feds didn't charge former Traffic Court Administrative Judge Bernice A. DeAngelis in the alleged ticket-fixing case.

According to a November 2012 report by the risk-management firm Chadwick Associates, DeAngelis was a key player in the ticket-fixing culture and in requests for "consideration."

H. Warren Hogeland, a former Bucks County district judge who at times heard Traffic Court cases, told Chadwick investigators that DeAngelis said to him on his first day in Traffic Court in 2006: "This is Philadelphia. We do things a lot different in Philadelphia. Everything you've learned, throw out the window, because this is what we do down here."

When Hogeland allegedly no longer wanted to participate in "consideration" requests, DeAngelis stood up, beat her hands on the table, and said, "I want you to understand. This is Philadelphia. This is the way we do things. I want you to get with the game plan," Hogeland told the Chadwick firm. Hogeland died in August after complications from heart surgery.

Former Traffic Court Judge Michael Lowry also told the Chadwick investigators that at the time he was sworn in, DeAngelis told him that giving "consideration" was a requirement.

The Chadwick report was commissioned by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille. The Chadwick investigators and federal prosecutors had agreed not to share information to maintain the integrity of their investigations.

The U.S. Attorney's Office has declined to comment on DeAngelis. Attempts to reach her were not successful. Lynanne Wescott, her attorney at the time of the indictment last year, did not return emails or calls seeking comment.

DeAngelis became a Traffic Court judge in 1992. She was administrative judge from 1996 until December 2000, and from February 2005 until April 2011, when she was replaced by Michael Sullivan. On April 20, 2012, she was removed from the bench.

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