Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, on trial for bribery and fraud, including defrauding a nursing home, pleaded guilty to one count and was sent to jail. The plea ended his trial after two weeks of testimony.
While most of the 29 charges against Williams, who was elected District Attorney in 2009, involved accepting bribes, misusing public resources, and using money from a political action committee for his personal use, Williams also allegedly defrauded his mother's nursing home. Williams was charged with taking $13,000 in his mother's pension and Social Security benefits and diverting it to his own use, rather than having it sent to the nursing home. In addition, a family friend wrote his mother a $10,000 check that was intended to help pay for his mother's care, but Williams allegedly spent the money on his personal expenses instead. The friend's wife testified at trial that she and her husband knew Williams's mother was having trouble with her nursing home bills and wanted to help.
Williams pleaded guilty to one count of bribery, which immediately ended his trial. The judge ordered Williams to jail and the city's former top prosecutor left the courthouse in handcuffs. Under the plea deal, the other 28 counts were dismissed. Williams faces a prison term of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
For the New York Times’ coverage of the plea deal, click here.