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Longtime Phila. Traffic Court Worker Defends ‘Consideration’ on Tickets

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(Philadelphia Traffic Court operations were placed under the control of Municipal Court after the ticket-fixing scandal broke.  Photo by KYW's Ed Fischer)

(Philadelphia Traffic Court operations were placed under the control of Municipal Court after the ticket-fixing scandal broke. Photo by KYW’s Ed Fischer)

Hanson_Tony--NEW Tony Hanson
Tony Hanson has spent his entire illustrious career at KYW Newsradio,...
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By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A veteran Philadelphia Traffic Court employee (and current supervisor in the revamped system) says “consideration” for the connected had been part of the court’s culture for decades — at least until the recent corruption investigation — but says he never thought it was wrong.

Six former judges are on trial in the alleged ticket-fixing conspiracy.

Bernard Lindline, testifying under a grant of immunity, told the jury today that he spent hours each month delivering requests for consideration to judges’ staffs.  But he says it wasn’t a “fix” — it was just a reminder to the judge to take a close look at the case, to be fair.

But Lindline finally he made some concessions during questioning by prosecutor Denise Wolf.

(Wolf:)  “Was this an exercise in futility?”

(Lindline:)  “Not really, no.”

(Wolf:)  “It meant something.”

(Lindline:)  “Yes.”

(Wolf:)  “A better outcome.”

(Lindline:)  “Well, I can’t say that.”

(Wolf:)  “A hope for a better outcome?”

(Lindline:)  “Maybe a hope for a better outcome.  But it wasn’t a definite thing.”

(Wolf:)  “Not a definite, but you certainly had a back room door to it, right? (pause)  Is that a yes?”

(Lindline:)  “Yes.”

Several other former judges and court staff, including Lindline’s former supervisor, have previously pleaded guilty in the case.

 

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