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Traffic Court Judges Charged in Widespread Ticket Fixing Scheme
Hernetha McMillian was at Traffic Court early Thursday morning to make her bi-weekly payment on a traffic ticket just like thousands of other drivers.
"It's ridiculous. Every time I come here you gotta' go on a payment plan or they take your car," McMillan said.
But while Mcmillian was paying her ticket, traffic court judges were making their way to FBI headquarters early Thursday to surrender and face charges that they were part of a widespread ticket fixing scheme that became rampant at Philadelphia Traffic Court. All designed to help the politically connected, not drivers like McMillan.
"The government doesn't say my client, Judge Singletary, took one thin dime in exchange for what they call a ticket fixing," said defense attorney William Brennan, who represents Judge Willie Singeltary.
A 77-count indictment and three criminal informants charge the nine elected judges and three others, including towing mogul Henry "Eddie" Alfano, with taking part in a widespread culture of giving breaks to politically connected families and their friends.
Corbett son-in-law, a narcotics officer, under FBI probe
The Philadelphia Police Department confirmed that a narcotics officer was taken off the street and placed on administrative leave Thursday, following the results of an FBI and Internal Affairs investigation. The department said it would not identify the officer because he had not been arrested or formally charged.
Sources identified him as Gerold Gibson, husband of Corbett's daughter Katherine. Gibson could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Federal agents and police Internal Affairs investigators placed $400 in marked money in a car for Gibson to investigate. The bills were sprayed with a powder used by police in controlled drug busts, and the car was equipped with surveillance cameras.
Gibson was told that police had a warrant to search the car and was asked to bring it back to the Narcotics Field Unit for a search. When investigators checked the car after he did so, about $145 was missing.
Investigators recovered the money after searching Gibson and his personal car. He also had the powder on his hands.
Gov. Tom Corbett faces special prosecutor over his Jerry Sandusky response
Kane will appoint special prosecutor to examine Jerry Sandusky response
Attorney General Kathleen Kane will appoint a special prosecutor to investigate how Gov. Tom Corbett handled the Penn State University child sex-abuse case.
"The office will conduct a timely investigation that leaves no stone unturned," Kane, a 46-year-old Democrat, said Friday in an emailed statement.
The findings will be made public, she said.
Corbett, a Republican, was attorney general in 2009 when he started a probe of Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach. Corbett was elected governor in 2010; Sandusky was convicted last year of molesting eight boys.