Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Four assistant DAs to prosecute Traffic Court cases

As six former Traffic Court judges head to trial this week, city officials today announced that in the new Traffic Court - the one without entrenched corruption and alleged ticket-fixing for the politically connected - the city will pay for four assistant district attorneys and 10 paralegals to lead prosecutions.

Four assistant DAs to prosecute Traffic Court cases

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The Philadelphia Traffic Court Building on 8th and Spring Garden Streets on Thursday, January 31, 2013.  ( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer )
The Philadelphia Traffic Court Building on 8th and Spring Garden Streets on Thursday, January 31, 2013. ( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer ) Daily News/Inquirer

As six former Traffic Court judges head to trial this week, city officials today announced that in the new Traffic Court - the one without entrenched corruption and alleged ticket-fixing for the politically connected - the city will pay for four assistant district attorneys and 10 paralegals to lead prosecutions.

In the past, police officers played the prosecutorial role, which often involved plea bargains and legal complexities that officials now say should be handled by law professionals.

"It would be better to have a more uniform view of plea bargains," said Common Pleas Judge Gary Glazer, who is overseeing Traffic Court as the state remakes the once-independent court as a division of Municipal Court. "We're looking for fairness, uniformity."

The city will pay $800,000 for the District Attorney's Office to place four ADAs in Traffic Court and hire 10 new paralegals. The prosecutors will try about 500 cases per day.

The new system will begin July 1. 

Mayor Nutter said the $800,000 for the new hires will have to be amended into his budget proposal, which City Council is hearing now.

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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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