Paper Seeks Philly DA’s Resignation Over Gifts

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Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams should resign, says the Philadelphia Daily News, citing a ruling by the city’s Ethics Board fining Williams $62,000 for failing to list $175,000 in gifts and income from outside sources in his annual financial disclosure forms, as required by city law. “We believe he should resign because his ability to pursue cases involving political corruption has been fatally undermined,” says the newspaper. “We also believe he should resign because he has violated the public trust and his oath of office by accepting gifts and payments from people who are employed by or who do business with the District Attorney’s Office. To put it more bluntly, we can’t have the person we elected to uphold the law be a violator of the law.”

The gifts include home repairs, cash, gift cards, airfare and lodging for vacations, plus Philadelphia Eagles sideline passes. The board said the list included five sources of income and 89 gifts, none of which was reported on Williams’ disclosure statements over a six-year period. The givers included defense attorneys, employees and contractors who had dealings with the District Attorney’s office. Williams apologized, focusing on his failure to report the money. Says the Daily News: We’d prefer to take a step back and ask some other questions: Why did he take the money to begin with? Why did he let people shower him with gift cards and resort stays, Eagles passes and a $2,700 couch?”

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