Southeastern PA

Law license of Philadelphia district attorney is suspended

Gov. Wolf has called for his resignation

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania's highest court is temporarily suspending the law license of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams as he awaits trial on federal bribery charges.

The state Supreme Court order was issued Thursday after a joint motion by Williams' lawyer and the office of disciplinary counsel. It takes effect in one month.

Williams' office says he won't make any legal determinations while he's suspended and won't act as an attorney in any case involving the office.

He plans to participate only in administrative, policy and personnel matters.

First Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Martin and the deputy district attorneys will carry out the legal duties.

Williams is a 50-year-old, two-term Democrat. He was charged last month in a 23-count bribery and extortion indictment.

He says he got into financial problems after a divorce.

Governor Tom Wolf issued a statement Friday again calling on Williams to resign in light of his suspended law license.

The governor said in his prepared statement that Williams is "entitled to the presumption of innocence," but that his focus should be on his defense.

"The people of Philadelphia need a district attorney fully focused on, and legally capable of, executing the important duties of the top law enforcement official in Pennsylvania’s largest city," Wolf said. "His resignation will allow the employees of the office to focus on their work and help the citizens they serve move on.”

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