October 30, 2013 |
Saying there is "serious uncertainty" that former Traffic Court Judge Michael Lowry will be convicted in a federal corruption case, the state's Court of Judicial Discipline has ruled that Lowry should be paid his full salary while he fights criminal charges. The decision, issued Friday, saying Lowry should be paid his $91,052 salary is the disciplinary court's third ruling in appeals by indicted Traffic Court judges seeking to win back pay. On Feb. 1, two days after the federal indictments, the state Supreme Court dismissed the judges without pay. Lowry's civil lawyer, Samuel C. Stretton, said he will petition the state Supreme Court to restore Lowry's salary and back pay dating to Feb. 1. Lowry, who faces fraud and perjury charges, and eight other former Traffic Court judges were charged in a 77-count indictment.
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.
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.
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.
December 14, 2012 |
As I read William G. Chadwick's report on Philadelphia Traffic Court and the news articles that surrounded it, several questions leaped to mind. For example, why, in the age of the smartphone, is it necessary to drive all the way to Eighth and Spring Garden to get a ticket fixed? And, if guilty people are being found not guilty because of whom they know, does that mean that not-guilty people are being found guilty to make up for the lost revenue? But the question that really stumped me was this: How exactly does someone flunk the Traffic Court judge test?
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 23, 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.
January 30, 1991 |
Within hours of Traffic Court President Judge George Twardy's firing of his top administrator yesterday, a state Supreme Court justice halted the action in letters to Twardy and the city Finance Department. Justice Nicholas P. Papadakos, who has been given enormous budget-cutting authority over the city courts by the Supreme Court, said he was also stopping Twardy's attempt to fire 47 other Traffic Court employees. Papadakos had said earlier that about 100 of the Traffic Court's 202 jobs can be cut without any loss of productivity - in part because the court has far less work since the city moved the processing of parking tickets to the Philadelphia Parking Authority.