Legal Updates

Two Philadelphia Municipal Court Judges Suspended

PA Supreme Court Judge Ronald Castille
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge Ronald Castille

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has suspended two judges with pay.  Judges Dawn Segal and Joseph O’Neill were suspended last week.  The purpose of the suspension is to give the State Disciplinary Board time to review their professional conduct.  Both judges were implicated in the Federal probe of Joseph Waters.  According to Supreme Court judge Ronald D. Castille, “They will still be judges, but they won’t hear any cases. They shouldn’t be going into court and hearing cases while this cloud is over their heads.”

Neither of judge has committed any crime or is accused of taking money to fix cases.  The focus of the probe is whether they violated the Judicial Code of Conduct.  Judge Segal is alleged to have reduced a Felony Possession of a Firearm charge to a Misdemeanor without a proper legal basis.  Similarly, Judge O’Neill is accused of using his influence to help Joe Waters affect the outcome of cases.

Judge Dawn Segal
Judge Dawn Segal’s Campaign Photograph

Both Philadelphia judges enjoyed a good reputation on the bench.  Judge Segal was celebrated in Philadelphia as a fair and punctual judge, who reviewed cases objectively.  The Philly.com article can be viewed here.