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Surprise Guilty Plea in Philadelphia Traffic Court Ticket-Fixing Case

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- One of the defendants in the federal ticket-fixing case against six former Traffic Court judges and two businessmen pleaded guilty today.

The plea came during the second day of jury selection.

South Philadelphia car repair shop owner Henry "Eddie" Alfano said in court that he and Judge Fortunato Perri were old friends. They did favors for each other. But the favors he asked, he admitted, were illegal.

"What I did by asking him for consideration for friends of mine was definitely wrong and definitely illegal and for that I am extremely sorry," Alfano said.

Alfano pleaded guilty to asking Perri to fix nine tickets. Perri had pleaded guilty earlier.

Prosecutor Denise Wolf said the two were caught in FBI wiretap recordings discussing some of the arrangements.

"Mr. Alfano would respond on one occasion, if I need something, Mr. Perri, you're going to do it for me," Wolf said.

After Alfano's plea, attorneys resumed selecting the jury members who will decide the case against the remaining seven defendants -- businessman Robert Moy and six former traffic court judges (see related story).

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