Mayor Nutter, as councilman, asked for traffic ticket to be fixed?

Posted: June 26, 2014

AS A CITY councilman, Hizzoner Mayor Nutter asked for favorable treatment on a traffic ticket, too?

So testified the director of finance for Philadelphia Traffic Court, who was a witness yesterday at the federal trial of six former Traffic Court judges accused of fixing tickets - or giving preferential treatment to - those who were politically or socially connected.

During cross-examination by defense attorney Louis Busico, Christopher Waters was pressed to name politicians who had requested favorable treatment on tickets for people they knew.

Waters, who had served as a personal assistant for then-Traffic Court Judge Francis Kelly from 2001 to 2003 before moving to the finance side, testified that he believed state Rep. John Taylor, who represents the Bridesburg area, was one requestor. He said he didn't get a call directly from Taylor, but from someone in Taylor's office.

Busico then asked him if city politicians had called him to help someone with a traffic ticket.

"I believe Councilman Nutter at the time," Waters said. "He's now Mayor Nutter."

"So his office reached out to you, right? Did you say no to the then-future mayor of our fine city?" Busico asked.

"No," Waters said.

Busico asked: "So when [Nutter's] office reached out to you, he reached out to you for the same purpose of give a guy a break, right?"

"Right," Waters said.

Nutter was elected to City Council in 1991 and left in 2006.

Mark McDonald, spokesman for the mayor, said afterward that the mayor was out of town. McDonald said he could not respond to the allegation given the lack of information provided at the trial.

It was not asked or mentioned in court who the ticket holder was for whom Nutter allegedly had sought favorable treatment, or when the alleged request took place.

"There's no way to respond to something like this when there is no information whatsoever," McDonald said.

A spokesman for Taylor could not be reached late yesterday.

On Twitter: @julieshawphilly

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