Nine current or former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges surrendered today to face corruption charges after a three-year FBI probe into ticket-fixing in the beleaguered court.
77-count indictment returned Tuesday but sealed until Thursday, said judges and their assistants routinely shredded documents, used code words and practiced "a well-understood conspiracy of silence" that turned the court into two systems: One where the average citizen paid for their infractions, while the connected saw tickets disappear, costing the Commonwealth an untold amount.
"For years, even beyond the conspiracy charged, there existed a culture of ticket fixing at Traffic Court," the indictment said. "The ticket fixing was pervasive and frequent."
Wowsa. This comes on the heels of the ongoing ethics scandal surrounding Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, with tentacles that touch U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah as well as Mayor Nutter, whose administration gave a cushy city job to Brown's scandal scarred aide. not to mention criminal charges against the business partner of a state rep from South Philly, not to mention a look across the river to U.S. Sen. Bob "I did not have sexual relations with that underage prostitute" Menendez.
Notice anything all these players have common? Of course you do, it's obvious. They're all...fans of the Philadelphia Phillies.
OK, I was just pulling your leg, they're all Democrats. Now, there's a couple ways you can go with this. There's 1) all Democrats are slimeballs with no moral compass or 2) when a Democrat does it, it's called corruption, but when a Republican does it, it's called...yachting, or 3) while it's sad and pathetic to see so many, um, allegedly (heh) corrupt pols in and about our great metropolis. it's also worth noting the the Justice Department that's investigating all these characters, and the president who appoints the attorney general, are also Democrats, which actually speaks well of the American way of justice.
Call me crazy, but I'm guessing Attytood commenters are going to go with 1). What do you think?
Adding one last thing, going back to last week's ur post about how corrupt folks in Philly having a pretty good track record of getting away with it. In the latest version, the good guys are winning for a change. But it's only halftime -- justice cannot let up now.