Gov. Wolf: ‘Beyond time’ for Philly DA to resign

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Gov. Wolf on Friday reiterated his call for Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams to resign, now that his law license is being suspended after he was indicted on 23 federal charges last month.


Wolf, in a statement, said Williams “is entitled to the presumption of innocence” like any criminal defendant but that “it is beyond time for him to step down immediately” to focus on his legal case.

“The people of Philadelphia need a district attorney fully focused on, and legally capable of, executing the important duties of the top law enforcement official in Pennsylvania’s largest city,” Wolf said. “His resignation will allow the employees of the office to focus on their work and help the citizens they serve move on.”


Williams’ attorney, Thomas F. Burke, declined to comment on Wolf’s call.

The District Attorney’s Office, in a statement Thursday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court signed off on the suspension of Williams’ law license,” said he “will not act as an attorney in any case involving the office nor will be make any legal determinations.”

Instead, the statement added, Williams will focus on “administrative, policy and personnel matters.”





First Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Martin, in another statement Friday, stressed that the city’s prosecutors are focused on their work.

“Every day, we continue to do our jobs, despite the odds, the roadblocks or any distractions,” Martin wrote. “We remain dedicated to our mission and will not be distracted by calls from the press or public officials.”

Williams agreed to the suspension on April 4 in a joint filing with the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. That goes into effect on May 13, 30 days after the court’s ruling on Thursday.

Wolf first called on Williams to resign on March 29, in an interview with WPVI-Channel 6, eight days after Williams was accused of taking $34,145 in bribes from two businessmen and stealing $20,319 meant for the care of his elderly mother.

Mayor Kenney and Deborah R. Gross, chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, also called on Williams to resign after he was indicted.

Williams dropped his bid for a third term before the indictment was made public. His current term in office, which pays $175,572 per year, ends in the first week of January.

























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1 Philadelphia

Philadelphia News & Search

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