The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in an opinion posted yesterday, ruled that the law firm Cozen O'Connor can write off a $448,468 debt incurred by U.S. Rep. Bob Brady in a court battle to stay on the 2007 Democratic primary election ballot for mayor.

That ruling apparently puts an end to a nearly seven-year legal struggle.

Cozen sued the Philadelphia Board of Ethics in March 2008, seeking to overturn campaign-contribution limits that restricted how Brady, chairman of the Democratic City Committee, could raise money to pay off the debt.

The Board of Ethics told Brady he had to adhere to the city's campaign finance limits from the 2007 primary while trying to raise money post-election to pay off the debt.

Cozen's lawsuit sought to either increase those limits for Brady or to allow the law firm to forgive his debt.

Tom Knox, another Democrat in the 2007 race, challenged Brady's candidacy based on information Brady failed to list in his nomination papers.  Brady prevailed in that legal fight but, like Knox, lost the primary.

The case has bounced through the years from Philadelphia Common Pleas Court to state Commonwealth Court to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, in yesterday's ruling, said Cozen could forgive Brady's legal debt without that being considered a political contribution to his campaign.