A Philadelphia judge threw out seven more drug convictions Friday, part of the continuing review of cases tainted by allegations of police corruption.

Common Pleas Court President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper approved the dismissal requests brought jointly by lawyers for the Philadelphia Defender Association and the District Attorney's Office.

Friday's cases bring to 812 the convictions reversed in the review of cases involving seven Philadelphia Police narcotics officers charged in a federal corruption probe.

The judge, however, let stand convictions of 27 other people. In prior hearings, the difference between convictions vacated and upheld was whether the case was based on more than just the testimony of an officer accused of corruption.

Six of the seven people whose convictions were vacated Friday had already completed their sentences. Assistant public defender Bradley Bridge said a seventh person was on probation, which now ends.

All 34 cases involved arrests made by six Philadelphia Police narcotics officers federally indicted in 2014 on corruption charges.

The officers - Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman, and John Speiser - were acquitted of all charges at a federal trial in May 2015.

A seventh narcotics officer charged, Jeffrey Walker, pleaded guilty to separate federal corruption charges and testified against his six former colleagues. Walker was sentenced last year to 31/2 years in prison by a federal judge who credited him for aiding prosecutors.

The six cops against whom Walker testified got their jobs back - Spicer was later promoted to sergeant - after they were acquitted. Betts was fired in August 2015 after testing positive for marijuana.

Despite the officers' acquittals, the Defender Association of Philadelphia and the District Attorney's Office have been reexamining the integrity of hundreds of arrests involving the seven.

Bridge said he and Assistant District Attorney Robin Godfrey, of the prosecutor's Post Conviction Relief Act review unit, still have 45 Walker cases to review and have completed about 65 percent of the more than 1,300 convictions involving the other six officers.

Bridge said his office also would review 529 drug convictions involving Christopher Hulmes, a former narcotics officer.

Hulmes, 44, a 19-year veteran of the Police Department, admitted falsifying paperwork and perjuring himself in court to justify drug arrests.

In June, the District Attorney's Office agreed to let Hulmes enter a pretrial diversion program for first offenders after he promised never to try to get his job back.


215-854-2985 @joeslobo