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New Corruption Charges Against Former Phila. Traffic Court Judge

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A former Philadelphia Traffic Court judge has been charged in a corruption case that was initially turned down by the Pennsylvania attorney general.

Today, Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams announced that Thomasine Tynes is being charged with bribery in another corruption investigation.

This one alleged that she took a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet (below), and the promise of more benefits in the future, in exchange for what Williams calls part of the "pay-to-play culture" here in Philadelphia.

tynes bracelet _hanson
(Philadelphia DA Seth Williams says this Tiffany bracelet was illegally accepted by former Traffic Court judge Thomasine Tynes. Photo by Tony Hanson)


Tynes was also charged in the Traffic Court ticket-fixing case.  She was acquitted of the ticket-fixing charges but was convicted of lying to authorities about that case.  She is awaiting sentencing in that case.

The current corruption case was initially turned down by the Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane, with some controversy.  Kane said the case was "fatally flawed," in part because of her determination that the chief witness in the case was not credible.

But DA Williams says this is a strong case beyond the credibility of the witness. He says there's audio tape and video tape of at least one conversation between Tynes and a businessman who agreed to be wired as a confidential government informant.

And Williams adds that it's an ongoing investigation.  He indicated there will be more charges.  Tynes has surrendered to authorities for processing.


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