Philadelphia judge pleads guilty to role in corruption scheme

- A Municipal Court judge pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements to the FBI. The trouble started when another judge called about one of his cases.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Judge Joseph O’Neill got “a phone call from then-Municipal Court Judge Joseph Waters about a civil small claims case that was scheduled for a hearing before O’Neill.” 

According to prosecutors, Waters told O’Neill the defendant was a friend and asked O’Neill to “take a hard look at it.”

But when the FBI interviewed O’Neill twice, he denied having been contacted.

Waters pleaded guilty to mail fraud and wire services fraud, back in September, 2014.

A sentencing hearing for O’Neill is scheduled for Sept. 7.

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