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July 16, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Chester County magistrate accused in a ticket-fixing conspiracy alongside five former judges of Philadelphia Traffic Court took the witness stand Monday and said the six words he had waited months to tell a jury: "I never asked for a fix. " During nearly three hours on the stand, District Judge Mark A. Bruno portrayed himself as a community leader and a model jurist, ignorant of any wrongdoing that might have been going on in Traffic Court....
NEWS
July 16, 2014 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Angered by the Philadelphia School Reform Commission's decision to sell the shuttered William Penn High School to Temple University, a neighborhood group has made good on its threat to take legal action. The William Penn Development Coalition asked the state Supreme Court on Friday for an injunction to block the sale and to rule that the SRC's expedited process violated state law. A small contingent rallied Monday outside City Hall to announce the suit against the SRC and to publicize the community-based organization's campaign to buy the site in the Yorktown section of North Philadelphia for a school focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
NEWS
July 14, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Their names - on a government witness list released in May - landed with a thud that sent tongues wagging in Philadelphia political circles. Federal prosecutors signaled that they would extend grants of immunity to City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and four Democratic ward leaders in exchange for their testimony against five former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges currently on trial for an alleged ticket-fixing conspiracy. But as the government concluded its case last week, nearly all of those potential witnesses with ties to city politics escaped a stint on the stand.
NEWS
July 14, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
In September, Montgomery County began going after the thousands of people who were delinquent in paying court fees, fines, and restitution. Ten months later, the office has collected more than $1.2 million on cases dating to 1986. "The enormity of the results has been surprising to everyone," said Clerk of Courts Ann Thornburg Weiss. Since offering people the chance to escape a collection agency and pay what they can afford, Weiss' office has seen "exponential" growth in collections.
NEWS
July 14, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was a nasty car crash, but not an extraordinary one. Sherri Berg's Jeep Grand Cherokee was hit hard by a car as she pulled onto a highway. The vehicle spun four times and struck a pole, but no one was hurt. What was extraordinary was the epic legal fight that followed, pitting a father-and-son law firm in Chester County against an industry giant, Nationwide Insurance. Nearly 20 years after the accident, that fight climaxed last month with a court ruling that castigated Nationwide and slammed it with $18 million in punitive damages.
NEWS
July 11, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
A FEDERAL JUDGE denied motions for acquittal for six former Traffic Court judges and a Chinatown businessman yesterday, on the eve of the defense presenting its case. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel ruled that sufficient evidence existed to support charges of conspiracy for all seven defendants. Prosecutors rested their case yesterday afternoon in the Philadelphia Traffic Court judges' months-long ticket-fixing trial. Lawyers for former judges Michael Sullivan, Robert Mulgrew, Michael Lowry, Mark Bruno, Willie Singletary and Thomasine Tynes and Chinatown businessman Robert Moy are expected to call character and other witnesses starting today.
NEWS
July 9, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Combined, they have won acquittals for clients charged with corruption, graft, theft, and murder. But for the last month, some of Philadelphia's highest-profile defense attorneys have pooled their vast legal brainpower to pick apart dozens of routine traffic tickets. This week, they hope those efforts will pay off as they begin to present their case in federal court on behalf of five former Traffic Court judges charged with fraud and conspiracy. Government lawyers are expected to wrap up their presentation to jurors Tuesday after 18 days of testimony.
NEWS
July 4, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Years before he became one of five former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges charged in a federal ticket fixing case, Willie Singletary had already made a name for himself. There was the $11,500 in traffic tickets he amassed before his election to the court. Then the flap he caused by showing a female employee cellphone photos of his genitals. And - in what good-government wags described at the time as a bald representation of the city's politics of personal favors - there was the 2007 speech to a biker rally promising his "hookup" to campaign donors.
NEWS
July 3, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
ANGELO HARMON was a compelling witness yesterday in the ongoing federal corruption-and-fraud trial of alleged ticket-fixing by Philadelphia Traffic Court judges. Maybe it was his demeanor, his defiant tone of voice, as he testified under immunity about his relationship with his cousin, former Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary. Harmon, a witness for the prosecution, testified that he never asked for preferential treatment by his cousin when traffic tickets came before him. "Would you want preferential treatment?"
NEWS
July 3, 2014 | BY DYLAN SEGELBAUM, Daily News Staff Writer segelbd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5917
IN A FIERY two-hour trial, a Common Pleas judge yesterday found a Germantown man who attacked a visually impaired person outside a deli in October guilty of two misdemeanors, acquitting him of aggravated assault - the most serious offense. But spectators in the courtroom may not have known that Mustafa Guyton was the one on trial. For almost 30 minutes, victim Akil Solomon shouted at the prosecutor and the judge during his witness testimony - frustrated that he could not identify Guyton as his attacker based on what others had told him. "This is really a joke right now," Solomon said after being told he could not introduce "hearsay" evidence during his testimony.
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