Philly D.A. Seth Williams Pleads Not Guilty to Corruption Charges
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has pleaded not guilty to 23 corruption charges, including wire fraud, extortion, the use of interstate facilities to promote bribery and honest services fraud.
Federal authorities revealed the charges yesterday, one month after Williams surprised the city by announcing that he would not run for reelection in May. Williams is accused of accepting gifts in exchange for his willingness to take official action as well as misusing about $20,000 that was meant to pay for his mother’s care in a local nursing home.
Williams, who allegedly accepted gifts like a Louis Vuitton tie, vacation to Punta Cana, custom sofas and a Jaguar, was reportedly quiet during a court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Lloret today. Williams’s lawyer said Williams denies the allegations and intends to fight the charges, according to Philly.com.
Williams was released on $50,000 bond, according to 6ABC. It’s not yet clear whether or not he plans to resign. No further date has been set in the case.
The city’s ethics board fined Williams $62,000 in January for failing to disclose five sources of income and 89 gifts during a five-year period. At the presser last month, Williams said that he “made mistakes that cast an unnecessary shadow on the District Attorney’s office” and that “it was wrong to fail to fully and accurately disclose the payments and gifts I received.”
Seven Democrats and one Republican are vying to take his spot this May.
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