Friday, May 29, 2015

23 of 39 Traffic Court candidates face legal challenges

It's a go-big-or-go-home campaign year for Philadelphia Traffic Court, where 23 of the 39 candidates for three open seats now face legal challenges to their nomination petitions or financial disclosure forms. Candidates had to file at least 1,000 signatures from registered voters in the city by 5 p.m. last Tuesday. The 5 p.m. deadline to challenge those documents in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas just passed.

23 of 39 Traffic Court candidates face legal challenges

Philadelphia Traffic Court at 8th and Spring Garden streets.
Philadelphia Traffic Court at 8th and Spring Garden streets.

It's a go-big-or-go-home campaign year for Philadelphia Traffic Court, where 23 of the 39 candidates for three open seats now face legal challenges to their nomination petitions or financial disclosure forms.  Candidates had to file at least 1,000 signatures from registered voters in the city by 5 p.m. last Tuesday. The 5 p.m. deadline to challenge those documents in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas just passed.

Candidates facing challenges are: Lewis Harris Jr., Inja Coates, Lynwood Savage, Sharif Ali, Ella Butcher, Soncera Ikeke, Robert Tuerk, Juanita Jenkins, Armstead King Jr., Fareeda Brewington, Bobbie Curry, David Mamikonyan, Verna Ragan Tennant, Keith Jackson, Suzanne Harmon Carn, Andrew Grannum Sr., Khalilah Case, Thomas McLaughlin, Fred Mari, Alessandro Gatta, Erin Nowak, Bruce Bailey and Youngchu Judy Song.

The Philadelphia City Commission on Wednesday will select ballot positions for the candidates.  Hearings on the legal challenges begin Friday. 

Also on Friday, the state House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing in Philadelphia on two pieces of legislation approved last month by the state Senate to abolish Traffic Court.  The first bill eliminates the three vacant seats. The second bill changes the state Constitution to fold that agency's duties into the city's Municipal Court.

The Senate acted two weeks after federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against nine current or former Traffic Court judges in a massive ticket-fixing scheme.  Three of the judges, including former Administrative Judge Fortunato Perri Sr., have already pleaded guilty.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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