Sunday, April 19, 2015

Philly Traffic Court elections off November ballot

It's official: The November general election ballot will not include three open seats on Philadelphia Traffic Court. Gov. Corbett signed into law today a state Senate bill that eliminates that election as part of larger move to abolish the scandal-plagued Traffic Court.

Philly Traffic Court elections off November ballot

Philadelphia Traffic Court at Eighth and Spring Garden Streets was in session Thursday, but some of the judges hearing cases were from out of town. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Philadelphia Traffic Court at Eighth and Spring Garden Streets was in session Thursday, but some of the judges hearing cases were from out of town. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

It's official: The November general election ballot will not include three open seats on Philadelphia Traffic Court.  Gov. Corbett signed into law today a state Senate bill that eliminates that election as part of larger move to abolish the scandal-plagued Traffic Court.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, a Delaware County Republican, introduced the two bills to abolish Traffic Court on Feb. 1, a day after nine current and former judges were charged by federal prosecutors will a massive scheme to fix tickets as political favors.  Three of the judges have already pleaded guilty.

Pileggi this morning tweeted: "SB334 has been signed by @GovernorCorbett. Farewell to Philadelphia's scandal-plagued #TrafficCourt."

One of the bills, which must be approved in the next session of the General Assembly and then by voters in a statewide referendum, changes the state Constitution to abolish Traffic Court.  The other bill eliminates the Traffic Court judge positions and transfers those duties to hearing examiners in Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Twenty-seven candidates contested in the May 21 primary elections for the three seats.  Traffic Court judges are paid $91,052 per year and don't have to be attorneys.  Three Democrats and two Republicans won the primaries.

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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