Nutter denies ticket-fixing accusation

Posted: June 27, 2014

MAYOR NUTTER yesterday denied an allegation that he participated in the alleged ticket-fixing scheme that has landed nine former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges in federal court.

"City Councilman Michael Nutter never asked a Traffic Court employee to dismiss a traffic ticket nor did he instruct his staff to seek that," Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald wrote in an email.

The allegation came Tuesday, when former Traffic Court employee Christopher Waters said on the stand that Nutter was one of the many politicians who called in to make tickets disappear for others.

"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?" defense attorney Louis Busico asked Waters.

"Right," Waters said.

After news of the corruption probe broke, the state General Assembly last year effectively abolished the Philadelphia Traffic Court, which was the state's only independent court for traffic violations, and transferred its duties to Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Nutter and District Attorney Seth Williams recently held a media event to announce changes to the new Traffic Court, which retained its name.

Nutter, who built his mayoral campaign around ethics and clean government, said at the event that the old system was "a mockery to the standard of evenhanded justice."

"This court will rise from the ashes of a tainted system and provide true justice," he said. "No longer will politically or otherwise connected defendants be able to count on special consideration."

Nutter represented the 4th Council District, covering Roxborough, Manayunk and parts of West Philadelphia, from 1991 to 2006, when he stepped down to run for mayor.

On Twitter: @SeanWalshDN


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