By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The first in a series of sentencings of former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges begins today with sentencing for former Judge Robert Mulgrew. The defendants were acquitted of ticket fixing conspiracy, but convicted of lying to authorities about their actions.

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Judge Lawrence Stengel, who read the jury’s verdicts in July, will now sentence Mulgrew. The government is seeking a sentence of about 3 years, while the defense counters there is no need for additional penalty.

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Mulgrew is already in custody – he’s inmate number 68619-066, serving a 30-month sentence for stealing state grant funds that he claimed were being used to beautify his Dickinson Square neighborhood in South Philadelphia.

The defense cites what it calls Mr. Mulgrew’s extraordinary volunteer services to his community, his exceptionally low risk of recidivism and other factors. But the government argues the co-defendants in this case destroyed an entire court system. The Philadelphia Traffic Court was disbanded.

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Former Judge Thomasine Tynes is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow. Two other former judges will be sentenced later.

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