A decade before Jimmie Moore and U.S. Rep. Robert Brady found themselves at the core of a scandal over their 2012 primary race, Brady helped Moore land a job.
It was 1999 and Moore was running for Municipal Court judge. The Philadelphia Bar Association had given him a "not recommended" rating.
But Brady and the city's Democratic Party endorsed Moore nonetheless, giving him a significant boost. Moore won his seat. Then he won a retention vote in 2005, again with Brady's blessing but not the Bar Association's.
When he resigned in 2011 to challenge Brady in the First Congressional District, Moore noticeably did not rush to trash the man who had supported him in years before, saying gingerly that "history will judge" Brady's record.
"I don't need to come out bashing or slinging," Moore said. "The facts speak for themselves."
This week, an aide to Moore on that campaign pleaded guilty to leaving $90,000 out of financial disclosures with the Federal Election Commission, money she told investigators was paid by Brady's campaign in exchange for Moore's exiting the race.
Lawyers for both Brady and Moore have denied that their clients did anything wrong. Brady's attorney, James Eisenhower, said the funds were intended in part to acquire exclusive rights to valuable polling data from Moore.
Neither Brady nor Moore has been charged with a crime. Yet the scandal threatens to have an impact on both men, who each have notable careers in their own right.
Moore, now 66, was born in Hartford, Conn., and raised in federal housing projects. He joined a gang but escaped the trap of that life with the help of a guidance counselor who encouraged him to apply to the University of New Hampshire, Moore told the school's alumni magazine for a 2009 profile. He was one of a group of black students recruited by the university in the late 1960s.
"I was raised in the projects by a single mom, like many of you in the First District," he wrote in campaign materials during his congressional run. "And like too many residents of the First, we survived with the assistance of welfare; often the most wholesome meal I enjoyed was a mayonnaise sandwich and sugar water."
He graduated from New Hampshire in three years, according to the magazine profile, then went on to get his master's degree in urban education from the University of Massachusetts before attending law school at Rutgers-Camden.
He served as Delaware's first black assistant attorney general, then moved to Philadelphia and started a law firm in 1976. He was in private practice for more than two decades before becoming a judge.
On the bench, he often oversaw homicide court in Room 306 of the Criminal Justice Center, presiding from behind a wall of bulletproof glass over hearings that often turned explosive.
He had an intimate understanding of the crimes before him. Both his father and brother were homicide victims. His brother was killed in 2007 in the city's Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. Nearly a decade to the day later, the slaying remains unsolved.
Despite not being recommended by the Bar Association (as a rule, the association doesn't explain its ratings), he earned high praise from his peers. In a survey of lawyers done by the association in 2005, he received favorable ratings from 86 percent of lawyers who had cases before him.
Last year, Moore made another unsuccessful attempt at office, running in the Democratic primary to represent North Philadelphia's 195th District.
Today Moore serves as a senior Municipal Court judge, a part-time position in which he occasionally is called on to hear cases.
While serving full time, he founded a program at Eastern University in St. Davids to help ex-offenders and others who are underprivileged become paralegals and legal secretaries, teaching some of the classes himself.
He has reached out to the community in other ways. In 2013, Moore received a $10,000 grant to create several urban gardens around the Cobbs Creek neighborhood of Philadelphia, where he said senior citizens and young men would work together to beautify the area.
In 2015, his community work caused him to cross paths with the rapper Meek Mill, who was before a Common Pleas Court judge being sentenced for violating probation. Mill's lawyer was presenting alternatives to incarceration for the rapper, and Moore testified that he was willing to put Mill to work through a program he was running with the 32nd Ward aimed at keeping kids in school.
Moore promised the judge that his program would not be a vacation for Mill: "He'll get one shot with me."
"It's that important for me and the community … we have got to reach them [teens at risk of dropping out] as best we can," he said.
He hit many of the same notes — about fighting poverty, empowering youth, and providing jobs for the underemployed — in his bid against Brady.
Moore's lawyer, Jeff Miller, said Wednesday Moore dropped out of that race primarily because "the expenses were just eating him alive."
Moore had experienced financial troubles before. In the 1990s, he filed for bankruptcy twice and 18 liens were filed against him for unpaid bills. He has attributed the rough patch to a bad real estate deal.
He was never on solid footing in his congressional run, raising just $22,650 from 56 donors in the first 25 days of his campaign. At the same time, Brady had more than $700,000 in cash on hand.
The year Moore stepped down to run for Congress, state law dictated that Municipal Court judges in Philadelphia made $160,794 annually.
As he packed up his office at the courthouse, just days before he would announce his congressional run, Moore said his time on the bench was "great, very rewarding."
"I saw some folks come along that I thought I was able to help," he said. "But at this point in time we should be thinking, what is going to be our legacy?"