Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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

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.

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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