Traffic Court records keeper pleads guilty to ticket-fixing scheme

Philadelphia Traffic Court
Credit: Metro Archive

A fourth defendant has pled guilty to charges related to the ticket-fixing conspiracy operated out of Philadelphia Traffic Court, federal prosecutors announced.

William Hird, 68, the former director of records at the Traffic Court, pleaded guilty Monday in Philadelphia federal court to 18 counts including conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and lying to the FBI when questioned about ticket fixing.

Previously, former Traffic Court Judge Fortunato Perri Sr. pled guilty last March.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Perri would receive traffic citation numbers, the names of those with violations, or the citation itself, where “fixing” the ticket was requested.

Perri would convey these requests to Hird, who would pass along the requests to the assigned judge or judge’s staff.

“Hird was extremely loyal to Perri, given that Perri helped Hird move up the ladder to a high-level administrator at Traffic Court,” states a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger. “Given Hird’s position at Traffic Court and access to the judges, Hird was able to facilitate requests for ticket fixing for Perri.”

An FBI investigation last year found that corruption was rampant in Philadelphia Traffic Court, and nine judges were indicted for their involvement in fraud.

Ticket fixing entailed dismissing the traffic tickets, finding the ticket holder not guilty or finding them guilty of a lesser offense, according to prosecutors. Ticket holders getting fixing service often did not have to appear in court, avoided getting points added to their driving record, and paid less in fines, or none at all, for traffic violations.

Hird faces a possible sentence of 12 to 18 months in prison.

The Philadelphia Traffic Court was dissolved by the legislature at the end of 2013 as a result of the ticket-fixing investigation.

____________________

Follow Sam Newhouse on Twitter: @scnewhouse

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…