Charges filed against Traffic Court judge

April 22, 2008 9:12:30 PM PDT
Pennsylvania's judicial conduct board has now filed charges against Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary. Willie Singletary was already under a cloud of controversy when he was sworn in as traffic court judge back in January. Court records obtained by Action News show he was notorious for breaking the same laws he was sworn to uphold. His own driver's license is revoked until 2011.

Singletary had no answer for us in the beginning of our investigation and has been avoiding us ever since. But now, The Judicial Review Board following a five month investigation has charged Singletary with 5 counts of Judicial Misconduct. The board cites a video tape obtained by Action News in which Singletary is shown soliciting funds in exchange for his assistance on Traffic Court at a gathering of the Philadelphia First State Road Rattlers, a motorcycle club.

Singletary is seen in the tape saying, "I'm running for Traffic Court judge, right, and I need some money. I'm gonna tell y'all like it is. I need some money, I got some stuff I gotta do. But if you'all could get $20 cause y'all gonna need me in traffic court, am I right about that?"

Singletary, who is also a minister, had gathered with the group for a blessing of the bikes at the beginning of the summer last year and according to the judicial review board to raise funds for his campaign for traffic court, which the board says is against the state constitution and rules governing magisterial district judges.

Singletary told the motorcycle club, "Everybody say Amen... Hold up, don't move. I need you before you leave, come right here to the center and drop a donation? now if y'all want me to get you, y'all gonna need my hook-up right?"

We tried to catch up with Judge Singletary at traffic court, but he gave us the slip. If the court finds him guilty of the charges, he could face sanctions including reprimand, suspension, or removal from the bench.