Report: Ex-Traffic Judge Will Plead to Accepting Bracelet
Thomasine Tynes, the former Traffic Court judge who became the first — and so far only — person charged with a crime stemming from Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s abandoned sting of Philadelphia politicians, will plead to charges in the case and is cooperating with prosecutors. She had been accused of accepting a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet from an undercover confidential informant working for the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.
The information appeared in a sentencing memo prepared by Tynes’ lawyer, Louis R. Busico, on an unrelated perjury conviction related to the ticket-fixing scandal that resulted in the Traffic Court’s demise. (The full memorandum is below.) Busico wrote:
However, after being advised by the Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney that said office would accept a plea of guilty to the reduced charged (sic) of “Conflict of Interest” and would not seek any sentence greater than whatever sentence was imposed by this Honorable Court, counsel herein believed it was in Thomasine Tynes’ best interest to resolve the Philadelphia County case short of trial. Accordingly, Thomasine Tynes has assisted the Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney in the investigation and prosecution of other individuals by participating in a proffer session and testifying before a Grand Jury. It is believed and therefore averred that the nature and extent of Thomasine Tynes’ valuable cooperation will be proffered to this Honorable Court by Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson. It is anticipated that more arrests of Philadelphia politicians will be made by the Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney based, in part, from the cooperation of Thomasine Tynes.
The Inquirer reports the plea is an embarrassment to Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who abandoned the investigation, then publicly double-dog dared Philly D.A. Seth Williams to pursue the case himself:
Kane secretly ended the investigation in 2013, bringing no charges and not informing the state Ethics Commission that the sting had allegedly caught Tynes and four state legislators on tape accepting cash, or, in Tynes’ case, a $2,000 bracelet.
Political analyst and pollster G. Terry Madonna said Monday that Kane’s challenge to Williams had backfired.
“I said this from the very beginning — one conviction is all Seth Williams has to get to prove that there were people who broke the law and should have been punished,” Madonna said.
No word on the timeline for additional arrests in the case.
(H/T: The Legal Intelligencer)