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Southeastern PA

Ex-colleague plans to defend Philadelphia DA's bribery case

PHILADELPHIA - A former colleague said he plans to represent Philadelphia's top prosecutor in a federal bribery case despite his client's financial problems.

An irate federal judge ordered District Attorney Seth Williams to return to court Friday afternoon with a lawyer. He said Williams had plenty of time to prepare for last week's indictment given the long FBI investigation.

Lawyer Thomas Burke said Friday he plans to take the case. He and Williams started together at the prosecutor's office in 1992. Burke said there's no evidence Williams sold his office.

Williams is accused of taking more than $100,000 in gifts in exchange for favors. The two-term Democrat said he got into financial problems after a costly divorce.

The city stopped paying his prior attorney once he was indicted.

Williams remains in the $175,000-a-year job.

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