Supreme Court suspends two municipal judges implicated in case-fixing activities

By Jim Boyle | Sep 25, 2014

The fallout from Philadelphia Municipal Judge Joseph Waters' guilty plea has affected two

other judges at the Philadelphia Municipal Court.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the suspension with pay of judges Dawn Segal and Joseph O'Neill while an investigation continues into their alleged involvement with Waters' attempt to fix cases for political donors.

Segal and O'Neill have not yet been charged with any crimes, but testimony from Waters' plea hearing before U.S. District Judge Juan Sanchez Wednesday implicated the pair as the judges he contacted to help out his politically connected friends. The Judicial Conduct Board will investigate the incidents and determine if they participated in any wrongdoing.

According to the Department of Justice, Waters worked to get a favorable civil ruling for a business engaged in a contract dispute, telling the judge overseeing the case that the business owner was a friend. In another case, Waters helped a friend's business associate, later revealed to be an undercover agent, get a 'cousin' out of trouble from a gun possession charge.

In return for his interventions, Waters received gifts and donations that he never disclosed on campaign finance reports filed during his 2013 run for U.S. Senate.

Segal and O'Neill will remain judges during the investigation, but they will be barred from hearing cases.


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