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.

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.

Get Ground Game in your inbox:
Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

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