Sunday, August 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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
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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