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9 judges charged with Philadelphia ticket fixing

PHILADELPHIA — Get caught speeding? Running a red light? Leaving the scene of an accident? For years, it was no problem, authorities say — so long as you were in Philadelphia and knew the right people.

The city’s traffic court was the place where moving violations went to die, according to a federal indictment that charged nine judges with fixing tickets for friends, relatives, and business associates.

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A ‘‘widespread culture of giving breaks on traffic citations’’ persisted in the city, federal prosecutors alleged,but only the well-connected got breaks.

Defense attorneys suggested that the judges made no money from the favors and that the court has worked that way for a century.

The defendants include six current and former Philadelphia traffic court judges and three suburban judges who had stints at the court.

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