Pa. Supreme Court suspends indicted Phila. Traffic Court judge without pay

By Jon Campisi | Sep 19, 2012

A Philadelphia Traffic Court judge who was recently indicted on federal fraud charges will

no longer be receiving a paycheck after the state Supreme Court announced that it has decided to suspend the minor court jurist without pay.

In a Sept. 19 per curiam order, the high court announced that Robert Mulgrew will be relieved of any and all judicial and administrative responsibilities as a judge of the Philadelphia Traffic Court.

The order, which is without prejudice, officially suspends Mulgrew without pay.

Chief Justice Ronald Castille had earlier ordered Mulgrew’s temporary suspension with pay following an announcement by the U.S. Justice Department that Mulgrew had been arrested and charged by the feds with scheming to defraud the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and filing false income tax returns.

Mulgrew was indicted alongside his wife, Elizabeth, and Lorraine Dispaldo, a legislative aide to state Rep. William Keller, D-Phila.

The three stand accused of using thousands of dollars in community development grant money for personal enrichment.

On Sept. 14, the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board filed a petition with the state’s Court of Judicial Discipline seeking to have Mulgrew, who has been a Philadelphia Traffic Court judge since 2008, suspended without pay pending his criminal trial.

The JCB had stated in its petition that allowing Mulgrew to remain on the bench while the charges hang over his head would undermine public confidence in the judiciary and its reputation.

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