Traffic Court Judge Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison

Former Philadelphia traffic court Judge Robert Mulgrew was ordered to spend 18 months in prison for lying to federal investigators.

Robert Mulgrew, a former Philadelphia Traffic Court judge, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison yesterday for lying to investigators. Mulgrew — who was sentenced to 30 months in August in a separate matter — was not convicted of fraud and conspiracy charges in the traffic court case earlier this year.

The case stems from the longstanding practice at Philadelphia traffic court of fixing tickets, or “consideration,” for the powerful and connected. Gov. Tom Corbett disbanded Philadelphia’s traffic court last year; it has since been merged into Philadelphia municipal court.

The Inquirer surmises this means the other three judges found guilty of lying to federal officials — Thomasine Tynes, Michael Lowry, and Willie Singletary — could also be headed to prison when they are sentenced. All of those judges avoided conviction on fraud and conspiracy charges.

The paper also shared some excellent courtroom quotes:

“Mr. Mulgrew didn’t destroy Traffic Court. The other judges still to be sentenced didn’t destroy Traffic Court,” [Mulgrew’s lawyer, Angela Halim] said. “This was a system that has been going on for decades — 30-plus years — created by people who were long gone by the time he took the bench.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek balked: “To suggest that that toilet existed for 30 years and that he deserves credit because he didn’t create it is absurd,” he said.

When you remember Philadelphia Traffic Court, always remember its motto: That toilet existed for 30 years.