(Photo: Matt Rourke | Associated Press)
Federal authorities issued a 23-count indictment against incumbent Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams this week, with charges ranging from bribery, to Medicare fraud, to stealing from his own mother (!!).
The charges, summarized here by the Inquirer, accuse Williams of padding his six-figure, taxpayer-funded salary with modestly-luxurious gifts and vacations paid for by people seeking favors from his office.
Investigators accused the city’s cash-strapped top prosecutor of repeatedly selling his influence and offering to intervene in a case on behalf of one wealthy benefactor. In exchange, they said, Williams accepted luxury trips to foreign locales, a used Jaguar convertible, and other gifts including a $205 Louis Vuitton necktie and a Burberry watch.
When that was not enough to cover the costs of his lush life, Williams allegedly resorted to stealing from his own mother, draining more than $20,000 of Social Security and pension income intended to pay for her nursing home to cover his mortgage and electricity bills.
While we don't know yet how this case will turn out, the available facts provide more than enough evidence to conclude that Williams is incapable of fulfilling his duties as District Attorney with the public's trust, and he must resign immediately.
Because of his well-documented financial problems, it's likely Williams intends to hunker down and remain in office through January 2018 in order to keep collecting a paycheck, despite having totally forfeited any claims to having the good judgment and integrity that the District Attorney must have. Philly can't wait until 2018 to restore integrity to the District Attorney's office.
That's unacceptable. Philly can't wait until 2018 to restore integrity to the District Attorney's office, and Williams needs to step aside right away.
If you agree, sign and share the petition to turn up the pressure on Williams to resign immediately.