It's a long way from Bakersfield, but the ongoing ticket scandal in
Philadelphia has people talking around here.
Several years ago, a ticket-fixing operation in The City of Brotherly Love apparently ended,
when nine former judges went on trial in federal court and the Philadelphia
traffic court was completely overhauled. But then, in June 2014, allegations
surfaced that current mayor Mike Nutter may have been involved, back when
he was a city councilman. Mr. Nutter ran for mayor as a reformer, calling
the old traffic court system "
a mockery to the standard of evenhanded justice."
Mr. Nutter has denied the allegations, both personally and through a spokesperson.
Stories like these undermine confidence in the judiciary. There are certainly
rogue police officers and other officials who take bribes and circumvent
procedures, but these instances are very, very rare. This is especially
true in Tulare County, where judges routinely face public accountability. Most
all traffic ticket prosecutions are based on the "two reasonables,"
and it's up to defense attorneys in Lamont and Shafter to convince
the judge that the state's case falls short: