Seth Williams pleads guilty to corruption charges
The former fiscal prosecutor immediately resigned his position in front of the investigating entity of the city. His sentence will be known in October.
Where there’s smoke there is fire. This Latin American saying falls short when applied to the current Philadelphia district attorney, Seth Williams, considering that what fell on the once official justice star was an avalanche of evidence that buried him in a corruption scandal still far from ending.
Seth Williams shocked everyone on Thursday when he pleaded guilty of bribery in front of a federal. The confession came a week after the businessman Mohammad Ali, a star witness against him, told the same judge that he had indeed filled expensive gifts to the former prosecutor to obtain favors in return.
"Mr. Williams admitted today that he sold his office in exchange for a series of corrupt payments that included travel, cars and other costly goods. Mr. Williams admitted that he fraudulently took over money that did not belong to him and that he fraudulently used the city's resources for his benefit”, federal prosecutor William Fitzpatrick told in a news conference moments after the hearing was over.
Last January, weeks after the scandal erupted, Williams announced his decision not to seek a second re-election to his position as head of the Philadelphia Attorney's Office, where he arrived in 2009 promising to reform the city's judicial system. Although the corruption scandal was growing, the prosecutor wanted to stay in charge of the judicial body until the end of his term at the end of the year.
This Thursday, Williams left the courthouse, escorted by police authorities and handcuffed, to a cell where he will await a final sentence that could give him up to 5 years in prison. The hearing where the sentence will be read will be held on October 24.