- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A former Philadelphia traffic court judge has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for lying to authorities in a ticket-fixing probe.

Michael Lowry’s sentence comes after a sweeping corruption indictment that shut down the court and moved traffic cases to municipal court.

The indictment alleges that judges had a long-standing practice of giving special “consideration” to personal and political friends.

A jury acquitted Mowry of the ticket-fixing counts but convicted him of perjury.

A defense sentencing memo argues that Lowry acknowledged that he accepted requests for consideration. But he says he gave similar breaks to others who appeared before him.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel says the eight-week trial convinced him that corruption was widespread at traffic court. He says the elected traffic court judges disgraced the bench.

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