Williams finally indicted
Seth Williams is facing federal investigation on bribery and fraud charges.
At 3 p.m. yesterday, District Attorney Seth Williams was indicted on more than 20 counts that include wire fraud, extortion and bribery and honest services fraud. Announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey, Williams' corruption charges come shortly after he announced that he would not run for DA for a second term.
Everything from $9,000 in checks, an almost $5,000 all-inclusive vacation to Punta Cana, custom furniture and luxurious dinners, Williams received an exceptional amount of gifts and items as an incentive to help the suppliers. One local business owner, Mohammed N. Ali, who was identified by the Inquirer as the donor of this gift, asked for everything from special security clearance at PHL airport to shortening a friend's prison sentence.
Mayor Kenney spoke with Philadelphia Magazine about the investigation stating, “At a time when our citizens’ trust in government is at an all-time low, it is disheartening to see yet another elected official give the public a reason not to trust us,” Kenney said. “We must all greatly raise the bar for our behavior and show the citizens of Philadelphia that we are capable of carrying out our most basic responsibilities as elected officials, upholding the law.”
The indictment comes just months after Philadelphia's Ethics Board, which DA candidate Richard Negrin was once a part of, fined Williams $62,000 for his failure to properly disclose gifts and itemize his income. Once the fine was announced, Williams stated that he “made mistakes that cast an unnecessary shadow on the District Attorney’s office” and “it was wrong to fail to fully and accurately disclose the payments and gifts I received.”
6ABC announced Williams was released on $50,000 bond.
So it appears that Williams' receipt of everything from luxury vacations to work on his home has finally come to an end and it will be up to the new DA to restore faith in the position.
The current candidates for DA on the democratic ticket include, Tariq El-Shabazz, Joe Khan, Teresa Carr Deni, Michael Untermeyer, Larry Krasner, and Richard Negrin.