The Philadelphia Outrage Meter for the Week Ending October 24

70% of the week’s outrage was directly attributable to the bracelet bribery scandal, with 20% of the outrage directed at the existence of the alleged bribe and another 50% at the fact that the judge is alleged to have been bought off so cheaply. After all, $2,000 doesn’t get you very far at Tiffany & Co. We would have held out for something more along the lines of this.

Meanwhile, 29% of the outrage was over someone calling Bill Cosby a rapist. And the remainder of the outrage — fully 1% — was over the idea that our beloved Dr. Huxtable-playing, Jello Pudding Pop-pushing, funny sweater-wearing Temple lover could even possibly, you know, be a rapist.

UPDATE: Judge Faces Charges for Accepting Bracelet

[Update 11:37 a.m.] District Attorney Seth Williams brought the $2,000 Tiffany bracelet with him to the press conference:

Photo | 6ABC

Image via 6ABC

Williams said the case against Tynes is “press and play” — prosecutors will just have to play the tapes of Tynes accepting the bracelet, recorded by investigators during the sting operation.

These are the only charges brought out of that investigation so far, but Williams said the investigation continues against Philly state representatives who were also caught on tape taking gifts from an undercover informant.

He added that any suggestions of racial profiling — offered by Attorney General Kathleen Kane as a reason for originally dropping the case — are a distraction.

Williams’ official statement on the case:

The grand jury’s findings:

The office also released three photos — one of Tynes, two of the bracelet:



[Original 10 a.m.] Thomasine Tynes, a retired Traffic Court judge, will face state corruption charges, Fox 29 reports.

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Traffic Court Trial Drama: “The Government’s Theory Makes No Sense!”

US Eastern Pennsylvania District Court. Photo | JVinocur

US Eastern Pennsylvania District Court. Photo | JVinocur

Attorney William DeStefano began the second day of closing arguments on Friday by conceding that maybe, just maybe, his client, former Traffic Court justice Michael Lowry, had committed some ethical transgressions.

DeStefano’s trademark bowtie and uncombed, Eraserhead-lite hair cut a sympathetic figure at the center of the courtroom – more Thomas Dolby than Clarence Darrow.

Maybe my client stepped over his ethical boundaries a bit in his handling of a few traffic cases, he said, but this was not illegal.

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Courtroom Drama: Closing Arguments in the Traffic Court Trial

US Eastern Pennsylvania District Court. Photo | JVinocur

US Eastern Pennsylvania District Court. Photo | JVinocur

Think hard, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek implored the jury. I know it’s been close to eight weeks, he said, but I want you to think back to before all of this began, back to when you yourselves were being questioned for the very job of juror.

“You were warned not to know anyone,” Wzorek said in front of packed courtroom yesterday. “You were asked if you had any preconceived notions of guilt or innocence … You are the fair and impartial fact-finders [here.]”

Wzorek then swept his arm back to point at the row of suited defendants behind him.

They were the fact finders in Philadelphia traffic court,” he said. “But they got their facts in a back room.”

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Judge Calls Out Lawyers for ‘Not Civil’ Commentary at Traffic Court Trial

As the defense and prosecution debated burden of proof issues in a Philadelphia Traffic Court corruption trial Tuesday, they apparently got a little snippy with each other. And U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel wasn’t having any of it.

Stengel told an attorney to “cut it out,” had the jury escorted out of the courtroom, then chastised the lawyers for their “off-the-cuff commentary.” William DeStefano, counsel for defendant Michael Lowry, apologized to the judge. “I don’t want to hear ever again at sidebar, ‘your redirect was absurd,'” Stengel said to the lawyers. “It’s distracting and it’s not civil. It’s going on on both sides and it’s not helping.”

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Man: I Traded Porn to Philadelphia Judge to Get Tickets Fixed

If you want to get out of a traffic ticket in Philadelphia, just ply the judge with porn.

Okay, this isn’t the case any more. But, though the deal appears to have only been available to Southwest Philly auto kingpin Henry “Eddie” Alfano, it did exist: Alfano pleaded guilty Thursday to 13 counts of conspiracy and fraud for trading porn and other favors to former Traffic Court judge Fortunato Perri Sr. In exchange, Perri would fix tickets for Alfano.

Alfano, 68, said the mutual favors stemmed from a long friendship with Perri, but admitted in court on Thursday they were illegal. “Judge Perri was a dear and old friend,” he said in court yesterday. “But what I did, asking him for consideration, was extremely wrong and illegal.” Perri, 77, pleaded guilty last year.

Investigators recorded calls where Alfano offered free auto repairs. One found Perri asking Alfano to leave porn films in the trunk for him; Alfano is the landlord for two strip clubs and the Venus Video Adult Superstore. “Pack ’em real nice … tape ’em and all,” Perri said on the recording.

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