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Clout: In L.A., Judge Judy settles a claim against mayoral candidate Karen Brown

KAREN BROWN, the Democratic committeewoman recruited by the Republican City Committee to run for mayor, didn't get trounced only by Mayor Nutter.

KAREN BROWN, the Democratic committeewoman recruited by the Republican City Committee to run for mayor, didn't get trounced only by Mayor Nutter.

She also lost on "Judge Judy."

Brown faced off this week against her former campaign treasurer, Stuart London, on the long-running court-television program.

But could the loss actually be a split verdict for the plainspoken South Philly politician?

London claimed that Brown owed him $825 for 11 hours of work on her campaign-finance reports in June. He was listed as her treasurer for a postprimary election-campaign report due June 16.

Judge Judy - Judith Sheindlin, a 24-year veteran of New York's Family Court - awarded London only $173 for his victory, according to Brown.

Brown said she offered London $250 before the case reached TV court, but he turned her down.

"She saved me money," Brown said of Judge Judy, adding that traveling to Los Angeles to tape the show Monday allowed her to visit family on the West Coast.

"They had to make it sweet for me," Brown said of the show, which put her up at a Holiday Inn for two nights. "I had no desire to fly to L.A. at Christmas."

Court records show the dispute played out this way:

* London sent Brown an invoice in July, noting that his $825 in fees "did not include all the text messaging or nonfinancial discussions we had, that was done as a supporter of Karen Brown."

* London had a law firm send Brown a letter in September, citing his "numerous good faith attempts" to get paid.

* London sued Brown in Municipal Court on Nov. 2, six days before she lost the general election with 22 percent of the vote.

* The case was set to be heard by a judge on Tuesday until the "Judge Judy" show stepped in.

* A letter filed in court Wednesday on "Judge Judy" stationery said the show had settled the dispute in private arbitration and asked Municipal Court to dismiss the case. The letter was signed by London and Brown.

London, a suburban newspaper sportswriter who lives in Elkins Park, brought documents from the Philadelphia City Commission to the show's taping to serve as evidence of his claims.

A spokesman for the "Judge Judy" show yesterday confirmed that Brown and London had appeared to settle a financial dispute, but he refused to release details of the court battle.

A date has not been set for when the London v. Brown episode will air. The show airs in Philly on Fox29 at 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

London declined to comment on the show, saying that he needed permission from the producers. He has a few reasons to keep the producers happy. They pay plaintiffs and defendants to appear, and pay their travel expenses.

The show also pays the judgment awarded to the winner.

Brown's latest campaign-finance report, filed with the city last week, showed she finished the election with $8,666 in the bank and $22,499 in debt.

Of the debt, $11,099 was money she lent her own campaign.

London's name does not appear as an outstanding debt.

Brown, who tried to rebound from losing the mayor's race by pitching herself as the next chairwoman of the Republican City Committee, is no stranger to financial trouble in court.

She filed for bankruptcy four times from 1997 to 2007, faced mortgage-foreclosure actions five times from 2002 to 2010, and six liens were filed against her from 2004 to July 2011 for unpaid Philadelphia Gas Works bills.

Street for Congress?

Former Mayor John Street spent part of 2011 considering a return to public life in a Democratic or independent bid for his old job or a City Council seat.

Ultimately, Street decided he liked his life after City Hall, teaching at Temple University and traveling around the world.

Now a group of people is trying to lure him into a different campaign, for the U.S. House.

Street, however, has nothing but nice things to say about U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, the Democratic City Committee chairman who represents the area where Street lives, and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, who has been a strong political ally for Street.

"I have been approached about possibly running for Congress," Street emailed us, confirming a rumor going around at last weekend's Pennsylvania Society in Manhattan. "I reiterated my longtime support for our congresspeople and challenged them to articulate the precise reason they were unhappy and they promised to get back to me with specifics."

Street described the people who tried to recruit him to run as "sincere but not really tuned in to the challenge involved in taking on a longtime incumbent."

He said the members of the group - he declined to identify them because the discussion was confidential - "included at least one elected official."

We hear this push was more about challenging Fattah than Brady. Though Street lives in Brady's district and owns a second house there, he could run for Fattah's neighboring district.

Guv stuck at Pa. Society

Pennsylvania Society is all about access to the powerful.

So a private audience with the governor is a big score.

But it can be scary. Just ask Charles Gibbs, a local attorney active in Democratic politics.

Gibbs boarded an elevator last Friday afternoon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where the event was held, and found he was sharing it with Gov. Corbett, his press secretary, a state trooper and state Rep. Josh Shapiro, who is about to become chairman of the Montgomery County Commission.

Then the elevator got stuck.

As the trooper radioed for backup, Corbett showed Gibbs pictures of his grandchildren.

An air of bipartisan accord filled the elevator, which set them free after about seven minutes.

"There were no Democrats or Republicans," Gibbs recalled. "It was just Pennsylvanians who wanted to get off an elevator in New York."


"He said congratulations and condolences, which I clearly understand." - City Councilman Darrell Clarke, on what Gov. Corbett said when he was introduced at Pennsylvania Society as the next Council president.