Today Seth Williams stands indicted of several federal charges, Mr. William Fitzpatrick, the acting U.S. Attorney of New Jersey, declared Monday afternoon in a bland room to the assembled local news media, which included veteran political reporter Mr. Vince Thompson, who told me that though Philadelphia is known for its corrupt public officials, he’s never heard anything like that which was orated on the 7th floor of the William J. Green, Jr., Building.
A Grand Jury Monday in Philadelphia returned a 23-count indictment – the statutory maximums are “through the roof,” said Mr. Fitzpatrick, we won’t ask for or receive a sentence close to that but we will ask for a sentence that we believe to be “fair and reasonable,” he added – against Mr. Williams, the current District Attorney, alleging that he sought and received bribes.
“We don’t indict a case unless we have a good faith reason to believe that we are going to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Mr. Fitzpatrick, who noted that the arraignment of Mr. Williams, who today was said to be with his family and not making public comments, will be set at a later date by a court.
It had been known for quite some time now that Mr. Williams had failed to report gifts he had received in an excess of $100,000.00. But today the public learned of a much wider portfolio of corruption, the details of which caused Mr. Asa Khalif of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania to characterize Mr. Williams as “pure evil.”
In addition to defrauding a Pennsylvania nursing home where a relative of his resided, Mr. Williams asked for and received from Business Owner #1, as the person is titled in the indictment, an expensive trip, money, a designer tie, a custom sofa and other things in exchange for his willingness to return the favors by initiating official action; the same is true for Business Owner #2, who, in addition to obtaining a confidential police report upon request, was appointed by Mr. Williams as a special adviser to the District Attorney’s Office after gifting to the embattled fifty year-old Democrat a 1997 Jaguar XK8 convertible, at least $900 in cash, and approximately 16 round trip airline tickets.
The abundance of gifts received by Mr. Williams were troubling, but that disclosure was seen by those I spoke to as second in egregiousness when juxtaposed with the revelation that he diverted his relative’s pension and social security payments, which were meant to cover the cost of residence at the nursing home, to enrich himself.
Unknown is the begin date, but the investigation into the District Attorney of Philadelphia – who received a $7,000 check from Business Owner #1 after he convened and attended a meeting between Business Owner #1 and a police official at the airport who was being pressured to allow Business Owner #1 to bypass security upon return from a foreign trip – was spearheaded by “seasoned veterans” at the FBI.
“The alleged misconduct, as specifically laid out in this indictment, is brazen and wide-ranging, as is the idea that a District Attorney would so cavalierly trade on elected office for financial gain,” Mr. Michael Harpster, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said.
Mr. Khalif has called on Mr. Williams to resign. Mr. Thompson, who suspects there are more chapters in this sago to unfold, said Mr. Williams must think long and hard about his effectiveness as the District Attorney in light of what transpired today. Unwilling to weigh in either way was Mr. Fitzpatrick, who said Mr. Williams is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
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