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Nine judges indicted for fixing tickets - Philadelphia

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 31st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Nine judges are waiting for their day in court, indicted for fixing tickets for well-connected individuals. The indictment says the corruption was both widespread and frequent.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (Catholic Online) - The 77 count indictment was made public Thursday. The indictment accuses nine Philadelphia traffic court judges of "a conspiracy of silence" that created a two-tiered justice system for defendants.

Average folk faced the normal schedule of fees and fines while those with connections to the court had their tickets shredded and charges dropped.

The corruption cost the city untold amounts of revenues over the years. It is also believed the corruption has been ongoing for much longer than the period covered by the investigation.

Judges who serve in the traffic court earn about $85,000 per year and those involved in the scandal often had other gifts bestowed upon them. One judge was mentioned of receiving a large shipment of shrimp and crab as part of a bribe.

Part of the problem is that traffic judges must be elected and they require the patronage of local political parties to win. This obligates them to their supporters.

State and local officials have proposed abolishing the traffic court altogether to uproot any corruption that could remain.

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