PHILADELPHIA—Two traffic court judges acknowledged Tuesday that they fixed tickets in Philadelphia for people with connections, entering the first pleas in a sweeping case that also ensnared seven of their colleagues.

Kenneth Miller, 76, of Brookhaven, and H. Warren Hogeland, 75, of Richboro, pleaded guilty in separate federal court hearings to mail fraud. Hogeland also pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

Miller and Hogeland were among nine traffic court judges charged with dismissing or reducing citations for friends, family, business associates and political allies.

A scathing indictment released Jan. 31 portrayed the court as a cesspool of patronage and corruption. Prosecutors contend that the favors bestowed by allegedly dishonest judges kept unsafe drivers on the road and deprived the city and state of revenue from the violations.

Charges are pending against seven other jurists, who have been suspended without pay, as well as a court administrator and two businessmen. Defense attorneys have suggested that judges made no money from the favors and that the court has worked that way for a century.

In Hogeland's guilty plea, he acknowledged both giving and requesting special treatment for certain offenders. Specifically, he admitted dismissing a speeding ticket issued to Miller's son in 2010.

Miller pleaded guilty to helping arrange a ticket dismissal for the son of a Delaware County court clerk.


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Miller had been a district judge in that suburban county for more than 25 years before serving a one-year stint in Philadelphia traffic court; he left in early 2008.

The clerk's son got a ticket in 2010 for making an improper left turn, causing an accident. At Miller's request, another judge now charged in the case dismissed the ticket in February 2011.

Miller and Hogeland are scheduled to be sentenced May 24.

Hogeland had previously served as a magisterial district judge in Bucks County, north of Philadelphia.

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