Northeast Times

Fourth pleads guilty in Traffic Court ticket fix

A fourth de­fend­ant pleaded guilty last week in an al­leged tick­et-fix­ing con­spir­acy at Phil­adelphia Traffic Court.

Wil­li­am Hird, who was dir­ect­or of re­cords, pleaded guilty to 18 counts, in­clud­ing con­spir­acy, wire fraud, mail fraud and ly­ing to the FBI when ques­tioned about tick­et fix­ing.

A sen­ten­cing date has not been set. Hird faces a pos­sible ad­vis­ory sen­ten­cing guideline range of 12 to 18 months in jail.

In Janu­ary 2013, the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice an­nounced a grand jury in­dict­ment of 12 people af­fil­i­ated with Traffic Court, in­clud­ing nine cur­rent or former judges.

The charges stemmed from fam­ily and friends of judges and em­ploy­ees be­ing ac­quit­ted for mov­ing vi­ol­a­tions at a much high­er rate than the gen­er­al pub­lic.

Three of those judges already have pleaded guilty. They are former state Rep. and re­tired Ad­min­is­trat­ive Judge For­tu­nato N. “Fred” Perri Sr.; Delaware County Seni­or Dis­trict Judge Ken­neth Miller; and Bucks County Seni­or Ma­gis­teri­al Dis­trict Judge H. War­ren Ho­ge­land.

Ho­ge­land died last year. Perri and Miller await sen­ten­cing.

Eight oth­er people face tri­al in May. They are busi­ness­men Robert Moy and Henry P. “Ed­die” Al­fano and former Judges Mike Lowry, Mi­chael Sul­li­van, Robert Mul­grew, Wil­lie Sing­let­ary, Thomas­ine Tynes and Mark A. Bruno, a Chester County ma­gis­teri­al dis­trict court judge who oc­ca­sion­ally heard Traffic Court cases.

Last year, the state le­gis­lature voted to trans­fer Traffic Court op­er­a­tions to Mu­ni­cip­al Court. Gov. Tom Corbett signed the bill.

Mu­ni­cip­al Court has es­tab­lished a traffic di­vi­sion at Traffic Court’s former home at 8th and Spring Garden streets.

Also, the le­gis­lature passed a bill that would elim­in­ate Traffic Court from the state Con­sti­tu­tion.

To be­come law, that bill must pass the House and Sen­ate in two con­sec­ut­ive le­gis­lat­ive ses­sions and pass a statewide ref­er­en­dum. The earli­est that could hap­pen would be the spring of 2015. ••

You can reach at noreply@bsmphilly.com.

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