R. Seth Williams, the district attorney for Philadelphia, was indicted on Tuesday for bribery and fraud.
The 23-count indictment accused Williams of accepting lavish gifts, including trips to a Dominican resort and a $3,212 custom sofa as well as checks for thousands of dollars, from business owners. In exchange for these expensive gifts, Williams would offer favors to the businessmen.
“Mr. Williams was willing to compromise his position of public trust in exchange for private financial gain,” said William E. Fitzpatrick, the acting United States attorney for New Jersey. Fitzpatrick was the one to announce the charges.
Mayor David Kenney has since called on Williams to resign, saying, “It is disheartening to see yet another elected official give the public a reason not to trust us.”
Last month, Williams addressed the corruption charges, saying, “My decision to accept gifts and fail to report them brought much embarrassment, shame and adverse publicity to me and, unfortunately, to the office for which I love. For this, I will always hold deep regret in my heart.”
However, the indictment goes further than just a failure to disclose and pointed to several communications that indicated Williams’ influence was being bought, including a message that Williams sent to a business leader who first offered him a trip to the Dominican Republic and then asked about a friend’s case.
“In the future always give me at least a week to help a friend … I have no problem looking into anything … I can’t promise I will drastically change anything once it has gotten to the trial stage but I can always look into it,” Williams replied.