Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Robert Mulgrew has been indicted on federal charges. Judge Mulgrew’s wife, Elizabeth Mulgrew and state legislative aide, Lorraine Dispaldo were also indicted. The FBI arrested all three individuals September 13, 2012, and they appeared before a magistrate that same afternoon.
According to a statement by US Attorney Zane David Memeger, the charges stem from an alleged scheme to steal funds earmarked for nonprofit groups by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) between 1996 and 2008. The trio are also facing tax fraud charges for failing to report the allegedly stolen income.
Judge Mulgrew became a judge in 2008. During the time period referenced in the indictment, he was an employee of the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Local 98.
Spokesperson for the First Judicial District Frank Keel said in a statement."We have no other information than that which already has been released by federal authorities. It is important to note that today's indictments are unrelated to the ongoing federal investigation of allegations of ticket-fixing within Philadelphia Traffic Court and the First Judicial District's own internal investigation of the same allegations, ordered and directed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania."
The Judicial Conduct Board has filed a petition with the Court of Judicial Discipline requesting that Judge Mulgrew be suspended without pay. A link to the press release and petition can be found here.
According to the Legal Intelligencer (subscription required), Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille issued an Order directed to the administrative judge of the Traffic Court, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary S. Glazer, suspending Judge Mulgrew from all official duties until further notice. The issue of Judge Mulgrew’s pay will be determined by the Court of Judicial Discipline at a later date.