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In Surprising Move, Former Phila. Traffic Judge Thomasine Tynes Waives Hearing

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- In an early move that may portend how her case will pan out, former Philadelphia Traffic Court judge Thomasine Tynes today waived her right to a preliminary hearing on corruption charges stemming from an ongoing pay-to-play investigation.

The strategy sometimes indicates a possible guilty plea down the road.  But what does it mean here?

After today's court proceeding, while emphasizing that his client has entered a not-guilty plea, defense attorney Louis Busico says a non-trial disposition is always a possibility and something that needs to be explored.

And he says he believes the case can be resolved in a way that Judge Tynes will "not be hurt."

Prosecutor Mark Gilson said afterward it would be inappropriate to comment on the significance of Tynes' waiver, adding, "but I do believe there is a message here that people who are involved in this investigation should be getting and should be listening to, and it couldn't more loud and clear: and that is, you should get in touch with me at the district attorney's office and you should begin to cooperate before it is too late."

Gilson says the evidence includes 113 recordings of Tynes and others.

Tynes is already awaiting sentencing in a separate federal case.  She was acquitted of ticket-fixing but convicted of lying to authorities about her conduct.



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