A.G.’s Office Investigating Press Aide for Seth Williams
Jennifer Jones, a communications and community relations press aide for District Attorney Seth Williams, is being investigated by the state Attorney General’s Office for allegedly participating in the recent straw purchase of a firearm, according to a law enforcement source.
The exact details of the incident are unclear. Williams’s spokesman, Cameron Kline, emailed the following statement to Philadelphia magazine this afternoon:
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office was made aware of an incident involving Ms. Jones. The matter was referred to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, which is independently investigating. The District Attorney’s Office immediately suspended Ms. Jones pending the outcome of the investigation.
A spokesman for the A.G’s Office said only that Jones has not been arrested.
The investigation comes at an already difficult period of time for Williams, who is facing intense scrutiny as he prepares to run for a third term while the FBI probes his personal and political finances, as well as his nonprofit, The Second Chance Foundation. In August, the Inquirer reported that Williams had failed to disclose more than $160,000 worth of gifts that he received between 2010 and 2015.
The D.A.’s Office recently faced heavy criticism for the way it responded to Gwen Snyder, who reported that she had been sexually assaulted by a fellow Pennsylvania delegate for Bernie Sanders during the Democratic National Convention. And in late August, Williams’s former girlfriend, Stacey Cummings, was arrested and charged with a pair of misdemeanors for allegedly slashing tires on security vehicles that were outside the D.A.’s home last November.
Earlier today, Joe Khan, a former federal prosecutor, announced that he will run against Williams in the 2017 Democratic primary race. A number of other local pols are also considering running against Williams, who took over the D.A.’s Office in 2010 from his former mentor, Lynne Abraham.
Follow @dgambacorta on Twitter.