Four assistant DAs to prosecute Traffic Court cases

Traffic Court
The Philadelphia Traffic Court Building on 8th and Spring Garden Streets on Thursday, January 31, 2013. ( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer )

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.