Monday, July 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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