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