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State Senate votes to abolish Traffic Court in Philly


Charged by criminal information are former state Rep. and retired Administrative Judge Fortunato N. “Fred” Perri Sr., of the Northeast; Delaware County Senior District Judge Kenneth Miller; and Bucks County Senior Magisterial District Judge H. Warren Hogeland.Last week, Miller and Hogeland pleaded guilty to giving breaks on traffic citations. U.S. District Court Judge Robert F. Kelly will sentence them on May 24. The sentencing guidelines range from zero to six months in jail.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has said that Hird and the judges “participated in a widespread culture of giving breaks on traffic citations to friends, family, the politically connected and business associates.” The tickets allegedly were fixed from July 2008 to September 2011 by dismissing them, finding the traffic violator not guilty or finding the violator guilty of lesser charges. The charges followed an FBI raid of judges’ homes, chambers and Traffic Court offices in September 2011.

The state Supreme Court later appointed Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Gary Glazer to serve as administrative judge of Traffic Court and implement reforms. The Senate Appropriations Committee estimates that the elimination of the court could save up to $650,000 per year. Philadelphia is the only county in the state with a Traffic Court.

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