The state Supreme Court has affirmed the Court of Judicial Discipline's finding that former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Willie F. Singletary brought the judicial office into disrepute when he showed photographs of his genitals on his phone to a Philadelphia Parking Authority contractor.
The justices also affirmed the CJD's orders rejecting Singletary's objections and removing him from office.
The high court issued a one-page order affirming the CJD's October 9, 2012, November 1, 2012, and December 13, 2012, rulings.
In its October 9 order, the CJD found that Singletary intentionally showed the images of his penis to the PPA contractor.
By doing so, Singletary brought the judicial office into disrepute in violation of the state constitution, said Judge Timothy F. McCune, writing for the panel of President Judge Robert E.J. Curran and Judges Bernard L. McGinley, Charles A. Clement Jr. and John R. Cellucci.
"We think that the public — even those members of the public who register the lowest scores on the sensitivity index — do not expect their judges to be conducting photo sessions featuring the judicial penis and then to be sending the photos over the electronic airwaves to another person," the opinion said.
There was no allegation that Singletary transmitted the photographs to the complainant in the case.
Singletary said he did not recall that the two photographs were on his phone, which was a fact stipulated by judicial prosecutorial authority Judicial Conduct Board, according to the opinion.
Singletary was suspended without pay January 5 by the state Supreme Court. Singletary was first suspended from his judicial duties December 23 by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary S. Glazer, the administrative judge of the Traffic Court, because Singletary showed the dual images of his genitals to a cashier.
The opinion resulted in an unusual holding.
"We hold that a judge who intentionally grooms his penis for photography, and then intentionally photographs his penis for the purpose of display to others, had better remember that the photographs are in his phone lest they 'slip out' at some inopportune (albeit unplanned) time under circumstances which are likely to offend another person or persons, for, if they do, we will hold such conduct satisfies the 'mens rea requirement' so as to support a finding that the conduct is such that brings the judicial office into disrepute," according to the opinion.
Bringing the judicial office into disrepute includes an element of mens rea, or state of mind, the opinion said.
The standard of evidence was clear and convincing.
Singletary objected to the CJD's findings, contending that he did not intend to show photographs of his genitals on his phone amid displaying other photos, but the CJD rejected those objections in its November 1 order and set a disciplinary hearing for Singletary on December 13 in Harrisburg.
That day, following the hearing, the CJD issued its third order, removing Singletary from office.
Counsel for Singletary, John S. Summers of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, could not immediately be reached for comment late Tuesday afternoon.
Robert Graci, chief counsel of the JCB, also could not be immediately reached.