Jailed Philadelphia court reporter ordered to type transcripts

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley this week ordered Traci Ann Turoski, a court reporter, to sit in a basement holding cell at the Criminal Justice Center and type transcripts she owed Brinkley and another judge.

What did Turoski, 41, of Ridley Park, do to deserve that?

For months, court records show, she repeatedly failed to deliver transcripts the judge requested.

The first request was made in April. In July, Brinkley ordered Turoski to produce the transcripts. In October, Turoski was threatened with a contempt-of-court charge if she did not produce all requested transcripts within two weeks. She said she would. By Nov. 9, she had not.

She also was late to court that day. She appeared to be intoxicated and was ordered tested, court records show. She also was jailed.

A mental-health evaluation was conducted, and Turoski was ruled competent to proceed in court. There was no mention in the record of the results of the drug and alcohol testing.

On Monday, Brinkley held another hearing on Turoski.

"There's no doubt that you have been incredibly inconvenienced, to say the least, by this situation," Turoski's lawyer, Christian J. Hoey, told the judge, according to a transcript of the hearing.

"And incredibly patient with her," Brinkley replied.

"Beyond," Hoey added. "Incredible is the understatement of the year. Judge, you've given her every break possible."

Turoski was a court reporter at the August 2010 trial of David Rosario, who was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to prison. In addition to a transcript for that case, Turoski was required to produce her notes for another case Brinkley was hearing and one for Judge Chris Wogan.

Turoski testified that continuing computer problems prevented her from getting her work done.

A court administrator said that she had two other court reporters try to make transcripts from Turoski's notes, but that they could not read them.

Brinkley ordered Monday that Turoski, who was in custody, be brought to the courthouse each morning and work on the transcripts she owed.

"She's going to remain in custody until she finishes every single thing that's due," Brinkley said.

Hoey, who described his client as, "quite frankly, elusive," did not protest. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

It was unclear in the court records whether Turoski had been in custody since Nov. 9.

Brinkley, who was unavailable for comment Thursday night, said in court she did not expect Turoski to be able to finish her work by Friday.


Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983, bmoran@phillynews.com.