Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Jimmy Tayoun made calls to top Traffic Court judge, federal indictment says

The politically-connected newspaper publisher had three reasons for two calls to the president judge of Philadelphia Traffic Court in the summer of 2011. Jimmy Tayoun, publisher of the Philadelphia Public Record, wanted an interview with Judge Michael Sullivan about his new leadership post, to take his picture and to seek help for an "associate" who was in danger of losing his license due to a traffic ticket.

Jimmy Tayoun made calls to top Traffic Court judge, federal indictment says

Jimmy Tayoun (from his page on Facebook.com)
Jimmy Tayoun (from his page on Facebook.com)

The politically-connected newspaper publisher had three reasons for two calls to the president judge of Philadelphia Traffic Court in the summer of 2011. 

Jimmy Tayoun, publisher of the Philadelphia Public Record, wanted an interview with Judge Michael Sullivan about his new leadership post, to take his picture and to seek help for an “associate” who was in danger of losing his license due to a traffic ticket.

Sullivan was one of nine judges indicted Thursday on corruption charges for alleged ticket-fixing.

Tayoun, a former City Councilman who served time in federal prison in the 1990s on corruption charges, says his calls to Sullivan were no big deal.

“The call to a Traffic Court judge is the same in my opinion as me being a character witness in a court case,” said Tayoun, identified in the 79-page indictment only as “Ji.T.”

Judge H. Warren Hogeland dismissed the $152 ticket for driving with an expired vehicle inspection, even though Tayoun’s associate, identified in the indictment as “G.C.” didn’t show up in court. Hogeland was also indicted Thursday.

Tayoun, who has published at least three columns critical of the Traffic Court probe since it became public in late 2011, said charging judges for doing political favors “shows a definite weakness in the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to really find something wrong with that court.”

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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