DA candidate will not accept money from defense lawyers

Rich Negrin, a Democratic candidate for district attorney, announced that his campaign has not and will not accept contributions from lawyers whose primary area of practice requires them to appear regularly as legal representatives for the defense in cases prosecuted by the district attorney’s office.

“To me, it’s a plain and obvious line that shouldn’t be crossed. I think we’re seeing right now the negative effect it can have on the office when that line gets erased. That’s why I challenge my fellow candidates to join me in rejecting these kinds of donations,” he said.

Last week, the Philadelphia Board of Ethics announced that it had levied a $62,000 fine against District Attorney Seth Williams, the largest ethics penalty in the history of the city, for failure to report sources of income and gifts on city financial statements over a six-year period.

The Board of Ethics reported that, among the gifts given to Williams that he failed to disclose, there were “20 gifts from individuals who had a financial interest that the District Attorney was able to substantially affect through official action at the time they gave the gifts.”

Negrin is a former city managing director and previously served as vice chairman of the Philadelphia Board of Ethics from 2006 to 2010.

Besides Negrin, others challenging Williams in the primary are former Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni, lawyer and real estate developer Michael Untermeyer and former federal prosecutor Joe Khan.

The Republican candidate is Beth Grossman, a former assistant district attorney and chief of staff for the city Department of Licenses and Inspections.

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Joe Khan is calling on Williams to resign.

“Seth Williams should publicly apologize to the people of Philadelphia for his abuse of their trust and his failure to uphold the integrity of the District Attorney’s office. How can anyone possibly trust a district attorney who himself is guilty of unethical and admittedly illegal behavior?” Khan said.

“Philadelphia needs a district attorney who will lead on important issues like keeping our city safe and addressing criminal justice reform — the only decent thing for Williams to do at this point is to step down from his position, as he is certainly distracted by the federal investigation into his unethical behavior.”

The Inquirer and Daily News have also called on Williams to resign.

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The National Republican Senatorial Committee is blasting U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. for siding with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren “and her far left pals” by announcing his plan to vote against at least three of President Donald Trump’s cabinet choices.

Casey, who is up for re-election next year, will vote against Department of Education nominee Betsy DeVos, attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, and Environmental Protection Agency nominee Scott Pruitt.

The NRSC said Casey is ignoring the will of Pennsylvania voters. Trump won the state’s 20 electoral votes.

“Bob Casey is a phony moderate who has a voting record more in line with Elizabeth Warren than with Pennsylvanians,” said NRSC spokesman Bob Salera. “If Bob Casey continues to side with the far left over his constituents, Pennsylvania voters will reward him with an early retirement.”

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The Green Party of Philadelphia will hold a welcome party for new members at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St., on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Greens are interested in both electoral politics and other forms of political action.

The event will feature Kristin Combs and Cheri Honkala, an anti-poverty advocate, co-founder of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and co-founder and national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.

The Green Party was founded on the four pillars of non-violence, grassroots democracy, ecological wisdom and social justice.

For more information, visit gpop.org ••