The Pennsylvania State Senate gave Philadelphia Traffic Court a big push toward extinction Wednesday, voting unanimously to abolish the controversial court two weeks after all but one of its judges were charged with federal crimes in a massive ticket-fixing scheme, reports the city’s Daily News. That legislation now goes to the state House for consideration. U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger, while announcing the federal charges last month against nine current and former Traffic Court judges, said that they fixed tickets for “Philadelphia ward leaders, local politicians and associates for the Democratic City Committee.”
The legislation would eliminate Traffic Court after a series of constitutional steps and transfer its cases to the city’s Municipal Court. The legislation has not stymied political interest in three open Traffic Court seats in Philadelphia. Candidates can start circulating nominating petitions on Tuesday for the May 21 primary election. The job pays $91,052 per year, and winners do not have to be lawyers. Traffic Court has resisted attempts at reform through its 75-year history, which has been marked be a series of scandals.