February 7, 2014 |
FORMER TRAFFIC Court Judge Robert Mulgrew wants his sentencing hearing postponed in a fraud case involving a South Philly nonprofit he helped run. He contends it may adversely affect his upcoming trial in an alleged ticket-fixing scandal. At a hearing in federal court yesterday, his lawyer, Angie Halim, told U.S. District Judge C. Darnell Jones II that if Mulgrew testifies at his sentencing hearing, he could risk saying something that could be used against him in the upcoming federal trial of former Traffic Court judges in the ticket-fixing case, in which he is also a defendant.
February 6, 2014 |
WILMINGTON - A Delaware judge pressed attorneys for the estranged owners of The Inquirer on Tuesday to explain to him why he should not preside over its parent company's dissolution and sale. Tuesday's hearing was the second before a judge in two days, but the first held in Delaware in the five-month dispute between the owners of Interstate General Media, all of whom signed their names to a partnership agreement based on Delaware law. While The Inquirer has been published in Philadelphia since 1829, its current parent company, IGM, has been registered in Delaware since it took over in March 2012.
February 5, 2014 |
The company that operates Philadelphia's red-light camera program is challenging the Philadelphia Parking Authority's decision to award the lucrative camera contract to a different company. American Traffic Solutions Inc., of Tempe, Ariz., is asking Commonwealth Court to void PPA's contract with Xerox State & Local Solutions Inc., a unit of Xerox Corp., of Norwalk, Conn. Meanwhile, the Parking Authority has filed for an injunction to compel ATS to continue to operate and maintain its cameras during a six-month "winding-down period," until Xerox gets its cameras installed at all 25 affected city intersections.
January 29, 2014 |
HE WAS LIKE "a middleman or clearinghouse" for political acquaintances or court leaders who wanted to get tickets fixed in Philadelphia Traffic Court, a prosecutor said yesterday. William Hird, 68, used his role as a "key administrator" to conspire with Traffic Court judges to get people's tickets dismissed or reduced to lesser offenses, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek told U.S. District Judge Robert F. Kelly. "These are benefits not available to the public at large," Wzorek said.
January 29, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA A man described as the conduit through which Philadelphia Traffic Court judges passed political favors in a wide-ranging ticket-fixing scheme pleaded guilty Monday to federal corruption charges. William Hird, the court's retired director of records, told U.S. District Judge Robert F. Kelly that he routinely sought special attention for cases involving individuals who were with the right union, or carried the right political ties. Often under the direction of his boss, Administrative Judge Fortunato Perri Sr., Hird sent traffic citations to other magistrates for "consideration," a term prosecutors say he used as code when seeking ticket dismissals or a reduction in fines.
January 28, 2014 |
IT MIGHT BE difficult for new generations of kids growing up in Philadelphia to imagine what Tom Gola meant to the city. "To any kid who grew up in Incarnation Parish or in Olney in general, there was no one who was larger than life yet more down to earth than Tom Gola," said Daily News managing editor Pat McLoone. "Kids couldn't get enough Tom Gola stories. We all looked up to him and were proud to be from the same neighborhood. He was a Philadelphia success story and a true hero to many.
January 28, 2014 |
A FORMER Philadelphia Traffic Court supervisor pleaded guilty today in the wide-ranging ticket-fixing scandal that rocked the court last year and caused it to be abolished. William Hird, 68, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, various counts of wire and mail fraud, and making false statements to the FBI. He served as personal assistant to former Traffic Court Administrative Judge Fortunato Perri Sr. from 1997 until 2001, then was promoted to court administrator, with the title of director of records.
January 27, 2014 |
A KENSINGTON man's bizarre court case of mistaken identity took another step early yesterday. Deion Deans, 31, faced a city judge in a preliminary hearing for charges stemming from an incident last month in which he allegedly impersonated a law-enforcement officer and made violent threats to a SEPTA transit detective. That incident marked the fifth time Deans was charged with impersonating a public servant. His four previous charges were later withdrawn. Yesterday's hearing included testimony from SEPTA Detective Bryan Carney, who said Deans made comments to him Dec. 16 about AK-47s and a "bloodbath" at an unspecified school, and Officer Martin Zitter, who arrested Deans during a disturbance Dec. 15 in which Deans allegedly identified himself as an "officer," and threatened to take Zitter and two other SEPTA police officers to jail.
January 25, 2014 |
One faction of the feuding owners of The Inquirer says their dispute over the proposed dissolution and sale of the newspaper's parent company should be heard in Delaware, because the company is registered there and litigating the case in Philadelphia is likely to lead to extensive and costly appeals. In a filing this week to Delaware Chancery Court, lawyers for George E. Norcross III and two other owners said their rivals' arguments that the case should be heard in Philadelphia had "shaky" legal underpinnings and questioned if they would hold up on appeal.
January 24, 2014 |
COMMON PLEAS Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, who has made headlines and stirred controversy with her rulings in criminal court, has been transferred to civil court. Sarmina, who has been on the state bench since 1998, begins her new assignment Monday. She is on vacation and was not available for comment, her office said. Sarmina, 61, requested the transfer, according to Common Pleas Administrative Judge John Herron. She became one of the city's highest-profile judges when she presided over a number of headline-grabbing cases.