Q&A: Risa Vetri Ferman

The Montco district attorney (and sister of Marc Vetri) dishes about the Kardashians, her brother's cooking, and what types of crime are on the rise

Tough race in November for you, running uncontested.
It was a nail-biter.

Which crimes are at the top of your priority list these days?
Child abuse has always been at the top of my list. In terms of what’s going on in the community, we see a real explosion in fraud-type crimes. Criminals often have better technology than we do. It’s everything from drug dealers who manipulate technology to hide their activities to thieves who steal your PIN number or use social media to find out when you’re going to be away and then burglarize your home.

You just charged Montco commissioner James Matthews with perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury. He says the situation is “totally silly.”
I have no reaction to comments made by any defendant.

As a Republican, are you concerned about the historic Democratic shift in Montgomery County this past election?
Our office is best run when it’s apolitical. From a prosecutorial standpoint, it just doesn’t affect us, the political registration of who’s in charge. I know [newly elected county commissioners] Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards well. I consider them outstanding people.

Very well said for a politician.
How about that? And true, too.

There’s a lot of talk about you as the GOP candidate for state attorney general in 2012. Is that a job you’re interested in?
It’s certainly a job that I’m interested in. But as a very practical matter, it’s not something that at this time in my life works for me. I have a young family, three teenagers, and right now, trying to balance the needs of my family and the work that I do is quite sufficient a challenge.

Growing up, you helped your father with his jewelry business. Are there folks with pierced ears courtesy of the future Montgomery County D.A.?
Oh, there are so many. I pierced ears, I engraved pendants. I sold a lot of jewelry. I was really good at it. I spent a lot of time at the Neshaminy Mall, the Roosevelt Mall. I was thinking I would go into the business with him. Then I found prosecution, which I think was a little disappointing to him in the beginning. After nearly 20 years, I think he’s forgiven me.

What’s it like having Marc Vetri, one of the best chefs in the country, as your brother?
I wish he’d cook for me more often. Marc is an extraordinary chef and a great businessman, but he’s an outstanding human being.

Are you a foodie?
Everything in the Vetri family is about food. I cook for my family or for friends.

Your other brother, Adam, is a TV producer who’s worked with Kim Kardashian­ and Snooki. Have you asked him for autographs?
Ah, no. [laughs] It’s so interesting­ that my brothers and I have chosen­ completely­ different fields. We don’t inject ourselves into each other’s professional lives, as close as we are. So I don’t have to ask about Kim Kardashian. Not my thing.

This piece originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Philadelphia magazine.