March 24, 2013 |
Common Pleas Court Judge Gary S. Glazer, the reformer brought in to drive out corruption at Philadelphia Traffic Court, was joking - sort of. Glazer predicted that it would take just an hour for the culture of corruption in the court to come roaring back once he left his post as supervising judge. An aide said Glazer had it all wrong. His prediction: 15 minutes. Glazer told the story Friday as he appeared before a legislative panel considering a plan to abolish Traffic Court and replace its elected judges with hearing examiners who are part of Municipal Court.
February 1, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA Traffic Court Administrative Judge Fortunato Perri Sr. used what he knew best - a traffic analogy - while engaged in what federal investigators described Thursday as a "widespread culture" of ticket-fixing. Perri, speaking on the telephone in January 2010 - and unaware that the FBI was listening in - told a strip-club owner that he was concerned that their relationship was "becoming like a one-way street on my end . . . I like a two-way street. " The dead-end came Thursday, when Perri was indicted with eight other judges, a former Traffic Court official, the strip-club owner and another businessman.
September 22, 2012
What will it take to clean up Philadelphia Traffic Court? The recent arrest of a judge on charges that he misused public funds marked the fourth time in less than two years that the court has been embarrassed. Wearing baggy shorts and a golf shirt, Traffic Court Judge Robert Mulgrew pleaded not guilty last week to inappropriately spending funds intended to care for South Philadelphia's Dickinson Park. At least Mulgrew was wearing clothes. Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary allegedly showed a coworker photographs of his genitals.
November 26, 2012 |
The Philadelphia Traffic Court has been dogged by allegations of corruption, mismanagement, and political interference since its founding in 1938 - not long after the dawn of mass automobile use. By the time the FBI started snooping around in September 2011, raiding Traffic Court offices and judges' homes, the court had an established, shadow ticket-fixing bureaucracy. Routine ticket-fixing involved all seven judges active at the time, and was so ingrained that patronage employees viewed political favors as "part of their job responsibilities.
January 13, 2013 |
Spurred by a recent probe that found widespread ticket-fixing in Philadelphia Traffic Court, the Republican leader of the state Senate, Dominic Pileggi of Delaware County, is developing a proposal to abolish the court and transfer its authority over traffic violations to Municipal Court. "It's a commonsense idea, to see whether or not there's sufficient outrage at the historical behavior of Traffic Court to support these remedies," Pileggi said in an interview Friday. "I have yet to hear a good reason for maintaining this fatally flawed concept of Traffic Court as it is. " Pileggi cited an investigation initiated by state Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille that concluded in November that Traffic Court had "two tracks of justice - one for the connected and another for the unwitting general public.
April 29, 2012 |
The 21-year career of Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Bernice DeAngelis has come to a quiet but definitive end after state court officials said her services as senior judge were no longer needed. Common Pleas Court Judge Gary S. Glazer - named Traffic Court's administrative judge in December in a reform move by the state Supreme Court - confirmed DeAngelis' April 20 departure in a Friday phone interview. Glazer declined to elaborate, saying, "All senior judges serve at the pleasure of the Supreme Court.
March 1, 2012 |
Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary, suspended for allegedly showing a phone-camera photo of his genitals to an employee, has submitted a resignation. Common Pleas Court Judge Gary S. Glazer, the acting administrative judge of Traffic Court, said Singletary submitted his resignation by iPhone. Glazer said, however, that under state law, a judge must resign directly to the governor, so Singletary would have to resubmit his resignation to Gov. Corbett. Glazer declined to provide the contents of Singletary's resignation e-mail, received this week.
July 11, 1986 |
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has called for creation of a separate agency to take over the job of collecting motorists' fines and costs from Philadelphia's scandal-ridden Traffic Court. Under the high court proposal, Traffic Court would be limited to ruling on the guilt or innocence of cited drivers and would no longer act "as a collection agency. " Chief Justice Robert N.C. Nix Jr. said the proposal hinges on the willingness of the General Assembly to enact legislation authorizing establishment of an agency to collect fines and to dispose of traffic cases on an administrative basis.
March 21, 2013 |
IT'S a go-big-or-go-home campaign year for Philadelphia Traffic Court, with 23 of the 39 candidates for three open seats now facing legal challenges to their nomination petitions or financial-disclosure forms. Candidates had to file petitions with at least 1,000 signatures from registered voters in the city by March 12. The deadline to challenge those documents in Common Pleas Court was Tuesday at 5 p.m. A list of the challenged candidates can be found at ph.ly/challenge. The Philadelphia City Commission on Wednesday will select ballot positions for the candidates, with a top position often the easiest path to victory.