There are very different ways to have a case heard in Philadelphia’s Traffic Court, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille tells the Philadelphia Daily News. Most drivers show up, present evidence about their ticket and wait to see how a judge rules. A politically connected person can make arrangements ahead of time for favorable treatment.
With the FBI crawling all over Traffic Court, the Supreme Court removed Administrative Judge Michael Sullivan from his post, replaced him with Common Pleas Judge Gary Glazer and announced that it is launching its own inquiry. Castille said a review by the firm Chadwick Associates found that the practice of Traffic Court judges and staff “accepting external requests for favorable treatment was so prevailing that it had become institutionalized in the operation of the courts.” Castille declined to detail how the ticket-fixing worked in Traffic Court, adding that he didn’t know if it was also done for money or just as political favors. “This is, as we have seen, kind of an ingrained culture in the Traffic Court of adjusting these tickets and not really giving the city and citizens a fair shake,” he said. “I’m sure the FBI later on will enlighten us as to the details of how these tickets were adjusted.”