Two democratic Philadelphia judges have been removed from the bench for corruption. Your guilt or innocence was decided on your checking clearing and not on the evidence before the court. The judges, Municipal Court Judge Dawn Segal and Common Pleas Court Judge Angeles Roca , are appealing their cases to the state Supreme Court in Pennsylvania.
They aren’t seemingly denying that they committed crimes, they just think the punishment is too harsh. Both lawyers for the judges said they expected nothing more than a suspension. If the ruling stands, neither judge will ever be able to sit on a bench again. When any judge sells justice from the bench, they should never again be allowed to be put in a situation to continue their criminal behavior.
In October, the disciplinary court found that Roca had unethically intervened in a tax case involving her son by calling then-Municipal Court Judge Joseph Waters Jr., who reached out to Segal, who then reversed herself and issued a ruling favorable to Roca’s son.
Waters was sentenced in January 2015 to two years in prison for fixing cases on behalf of campaign donors and political allies. He was released about a month ago.
In July, the court found Segal guilty of seven violations of judicial ethics rules, including bringing the court into disrepute.
“I got something in front of you at 1 o’clock today,” Waters told Segal in an intercepted 2011 phone conversation in which he asked for favorable treatment of a politically connected defendant appearing before her.
“Oh, OK. OK,” Segal responded, according to the disciplinary panel.
Wiretaps also captured Segal telling Waters she had helped him with her rulings.
“As we have said in more detail in prior decisions, when it comes to corrupt acts and the derogation of a fair and just judicial process, a judge must have ‘the willingness to stand up for what was right and buck a corrupt tide,'” the court wrote in both rulings.
Roca and Segal, both Democrats, had been on unpaid suspension. If the rulings stand, they would be ineligible to hold judicial office in the future.
“I’m very disturbed by the decision,” Roca’s attorney, Samuel Stretton, said Tuesday.
Stretton said he was appealing the ruling because the disciplinary court ignored case law and treated Roca’s and Segal’s cases too similarly.