Pa. Senator Anthony Williams Calls for Resignations in Porngate Presser
Flanked by leaders of various advocacy groups, Sen. Anthony Williams today called for the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin.
“This system is tragically broken,” Williams said at a press conference today. “It doesn’t stop at Eakin, it starts with Eakin.” Williams also called for the resignation of first deputy attorney general Bruce Beemer and the removal of Robert Graci from the Judicial Conduct Board.
“We need a special prosecutor to create a credible investigation,” Williams said, “and the legislature must take the required steps to prevent these kinds of racist, misogynist, homophobic expressions from happening on the public’s dime.”
Williams was joined by LGBT leader Malcolm Lazin, NAACP Philly chapter president Rodney Muhammad, NOW Philadelphia chapter president Nina Ahmad, the Guardian Civic League’s Rochelle Bilal and several other local community and faith leaders. Kathleen Kane last month released emails Eakin had sent and received on a private “John Smith” Yahoo! account. (Good alias.)
“These emails are riddled with hate speech,” Williams said. “All of them undermine the integrity of our judiciary and they raise serious questions about Justice Eakin’s impartiality and his common sense, especially as it affects women and minorities.” Some examples of Eakin’s emails are here; he has apologized, though he added: “It is disconcerting and embarrassing to find others searching years of private personal emails looking for and publicizing any insensitive content.”
— William Bender (@wbender99) November 16, 2015
Williams also alleged a “cover up.” The chief counsel for the state’s Judicial Conduct Board stepped aside after a Daily News report identified him as a friend of Eakin’s who helped lead his most recent re-election campaign.
Those at the press conference also called for the firing of three city prosecutors — Frank Fina, Pat Blessington and Marc Constanzo — who were on the pornographic/sexist/racist joke email chains. The National Organization of Women held a press conference Thursday with several City Councilwomen calling for their firing, and Ahmad said a petition calling for their dismissal will being circulating tomorrow. (Fina and others filed a lawsuit against Kane, Philadelphia Media Networks, the Daily News and an Inquirer reporter last week.)
“I’m not going to criticize my friend,” Williams said of District Attorney Seth Williams. “He should have fired them a long time ago … Sensitivity training would not correct what we saw today.”
Meanwhile, Milton Street — who passed out porn emails outside of the NOW/Councilwomen press conference last week and called Williams “ambitiously evil” — says he will hold a rally outside the District Attorney’s office on December 3rd.
Williams said he held the press conference today because, while he was aware of the emails for a while now, he didn’t fully understand their specific content until recently.
“This isn’t porngate,” Williams said. “This is hategate.”
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