It was a tough December for Philadelphia Traffic Court, and January began with more bad news.

A newly elected judge, Christine Solomon, cannot take the bench because she flunked a required judicial education examination.

A do-over examination is offered Jan. 31 by the state's Minor Judiciary Education Board. Until then, Solomon cannot hear cases, court officials said. She was not sworn in Monday along with all the other newly elected judges.

Last month, Judge Willie Singletary was relieved of judicial duties after allegedly displaying a photograph of his genitals to a court worker.

Common Pleas Court Judge Gary S. Glazer, the new Traffic Court chief administrator, wants Singletary to be formally suspended. A decision by the State Supreme Court may come this week.

Glazer said he would monitor the caseload and seek a temporary backup judge if needed. Six other judges currently are hearing cases.

Solomon, 59, won a seat on the bench in November after leading a field of 14 candidates in the spring Democratic primary. Solomon had the first ballot position, and as the veteran leader of the 53d Ward she received strong support from the party organization. The 2012 pay is $89,000 a year.

No legal education is required to be elected to Traffic Court, but new judges take a one-month course and must pass a two-hour examination before they can be sworn in, said Susan Davis, executive director of the state judiciary education panel.

The preparatory course is required for Traffic Court and District Court judges across the state. Flunking is not unheard of. In 2000, a Chester County district judge had to take the test three times before passing.

Davis said Solomon was not certified last month. Glazer said, "She has not passed the examination and will be able to take it again at the end of January."

Solomon could not be reached for comment.

Glazer is charged with overhauling court operations. He was appointed by the state Supreme Court to replace Judge Michael J. Sullivan after a series of FBI raids on the offices and homes of two current judges and one former judge. Two bars operated by Traffic Court judges also were raided.

An internal investigation concluded that the court had "institutionalized" the practice of accepting requests for favorable treatment from "political sources."

Sullivan remains on the bench and is allowed to hear cases.

The court handles about 170,000 citations a year for offenses ranging from running a red light to operating an overweight truck.

"Some of the judges here have doubled up their caseload," said Glazer, "but it is something clearly we look at and evaluate, and we may have to get assistance."

The two-hour test involves essay and multiple-choice questions. The course work involves learning motor-vehicle law and court procedures.