Wednesday, September 2, 2015

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

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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.”

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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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