4 traffic judges convicted in ticket-fixing case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Four ousted traffic court judges in Philadelphia have been convicted of lying to authorities but cleared of most charges in a sweeping ticket-fixing case.

Two other judges and a businessman were acquitted in federal court Wednesday.

The indictment last year portrayed the city's traffic court as a patronage pit, and said judges routinely fixed tickets for friends and allies. Several judges pleaded guilty before trial.

The jury then convicted ex-judges Michael Lowry, Robert Mulgrew and Thomasine Tynes of perjury, and Willie Singletary of lying to the FBI.

Defense lawyers had argued that giving insiders "consideration" was long a tradition — and not deemed illegal.

All of the trial defendants were acquitted of the lead conspiracy and fraud charges.

Philadelphia traffic cases are now handled by the city's municipal court.