Williams’s Former Top Deputy El-Shabazz Joins D.A. Race

Just one week after his resignation, Tariq El-Shabazz announced his candidacy and addressed the more than $190,000 he reportedly owes in tax liens.

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Tariq Karim El-Shabazz, the former top deputy of District Attorney Seth Williams, has joined six others vying to fill Williams’ position next term. 

El-Shabazz entered the race for district attorney on Monday, one week after he resigned from his post. A few days prior to El-Shabbaz’s resignation, Williams shocked the city by announcing that he will not seek reelection.

Last week, Philly.com reported that El-Shabazz owes $190,712 in federal, state and city taxes, according to lien judgements filed in Commonwealth Court.

During his announcement on Monday, El-Shabazz said he has a payment plan in place.

“I think the voters deserve to know that I have debt, that I have in fact entered into agreements to handle that debt and that I will handle that debt,” El-Shabazz said, according to the Inquirer. “I haven’t run from it. I’m not running from this issue.”

The newspaper reports that El-Shabazz owes $137,187 in six IRS liens from between 2013 and 2016, a combined city lien of $50,947 (as of Sept. 30th) and a state personal income tax lien of $2,577. El-Shabazz’s former law firm, El-Shabazz & Harris, was reportedly taken to court over rent payments six times between 2008 and 2016.

Williams was recently hit with the largest ethics fine in city history after he failed to disclose more than $160,000 worth of gifts between 2010 and 2015 – some of which were officially “prohibited.”

At his Monday meeting, El-Shabazz asked supporters not to “put spillage on Tariq Karim El-Shabazz by the failings of Seth Williams,” according to the Inquirer.

El-Shabazz said that, if elected, he’d run a district attorney’s office geared toward solving issues surrounding mass incarceration.

He’ll face off against five other Democrats, including civil rights lawyer Larry Krasner, former city managing director Rich Negrin, lawyer and real estate developer Michael Untermeyer, former federal prosecutor Joe Khan and former Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni, as well as Republican Beth Grossman. 

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