More judicial corruption in S.E. PA:

More depressing news from Wilkes-Barre, where a third local judge, and the 20th person overall, has been snagged in a corruption inquiry. I’ve blogged a number of times about the two other judges that will (hopefully) spend a good deal of time in prison on the charge of “honest services fraud for improperly influencing a court case.” How much to make of all this is unclear, I suppose; it’s just another example of dishonest people abusing their positions, and to be sure there’s plenty of that to go around pretty much everywhere in the country. But I’ve been teaching in Philadelphia for the last 13 years, and I have to say that the culture of corruption in the police and judicial systems in this part of the world is jaw-dropping and very depressing; it’s taken for granted that judges and cops are routinely on the take (it’s well known, also, that judges buy their positions from local party leaders for cold, hard cash). Philadelphia has long since ceased to be the world class city that it was 150 or 200 years ago – but there are pockets of terrific energy and creativity bubbling up in Philly, and lots of new folks bringing new ideas and new enthusiasm into town; I do think, though, that until this corruption culture is brought to heel, it will keep holding it back from any chance of getting back on its feet and dealing with the profound problems that it has.
[Thanks to Mike Davidson for the link]