FBI, Federal Prosecutors Probe Philadelphia Judges’ Campaign Donations


Federal prosecutors and FBI agents have subpoenaed financial information from five Philadelphia judges, sought campaign-donation records, and interviewed judges and political figures as part of a wide-ranging investigation over the last year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Two people said the FBI questioned them about what they called possible “fixing cases.” A third said agents asked about “pay-to-play” – the long-standing practice of campaign donors getting favors from public officials.

Municipal Court Judge Joseph Waters said prosecutors subpoenaed his campaign-finance filings last month. Waters, a Democrat elected to the bench in 2009, said the subpoena sought his campaign-finance data going back to 2006, when he first ran for a judgeship. He does not know where the FBI was headed, but “it’s very unsettling.” Earlier this year, prosecutors reportedly subpoenaed Waters’ annual financial disclosures, as well as those of Municipal Court Judges Joseph O’Neill, Dawn A. Segal, and Craig M. Washington, and Common Pleas Court Judge Angeles Roca. The disclosures require judges to list sources of outside income and gifts.

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