Ex-Phila. DA Williams Gets Maximum Five-Year Term

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Former Philadelphia District Attorney was sentenced to the maximum five years in prison, as U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond called him a “criminal” who “fed his face at the trough” of public money, Philly.com reports. Williams humiliated his employees and dumped his own mother “like a sack of potatoes” by stealing money set aside to cover her nursing home care to project a “high-roller” image to the “parasites [with whom he] surrounded” himself, the judge said. When it came to Williams’ request to be released from custody before the start of his prison term to see his dying mother one last time, Diamond scoffed. “The English language doesn’t have the words to capture the outrageousness of that request,” the judge said. “The defendant stole from his mother, and now he wants to visit her?”

Williams, once hailed as a long-awaited reformer to the city’s criminal justice system, was hauled out of court in handcuffs, his shoulders slumped, his face the picture of defeat. Williams himself told the judge in a statement read by his attorney that, “Rather than holding myself to a higher standard, I squandered the trust placed in me. I lost my job, reputation, pension, house, law license, and liberty.” Tuesday’s hearing was only the latest setback for Williams, whose public life in the last year has been marked by one embarrassing blow after another, most of them self-inflicted. His failure to report more than $175,000 in gifts from wealthy benefactors prompted the city’s Ethics Board to fine him $62,000, the largest penalty against a political officeholder in the body’s 11-year history. Williams dropped his bid for a third term soon after.

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