By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Sharp words were exchanged today in a federal courtroom in Philadelphia as the defense in the trial of six former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges challenged the prosecution team’s tactics.
The six judges are charged in a ticket-fixing scandal.
But the prosecutor immediately rejected the defense allegations of an ambush, indicating the government has turned over evidence promptly.
Meanwhile, a retired Bucks County judge who occasionally sat in Philadelphia’s traffic court was back on the stand today.
Retired judge Ruth Dietrich testified that one of the defendant judges approched her, seeking a particular outcome in a case before her.
Under questioning by prosecutor Anthony Wzorek, Dietrich testified that it was a common occurrence.
(Wzorek:) “Were you ever approached by another judge concerning consideration on a case — favorable treatment on a case?”
(Wzorek:) “How many times did that happen?”
(Dietrich:) “I’d say, two or three times at least, in the beginning.”
(Wzorek:) “OK. Do you remember any of the judges who approached you, asking for favorable treatment on a case?”
(Wzorek:) “Who was that?”
(Dietrich:) “Judge Singletary.”
But Judge Dietrich says she flatly rejected the request because it was illegal.
Judge Willie Singletary and the other five judges on trial have pleaded not guilty.