Months after it was revealed that Attorney General Kathleen Kane dropped an undercover sting into political corruption in Philly after four local legislators and a Traffic Court judge accepted gifts and cash in return for favors, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is launching his own investigation into the case.
D.A. Williams said an investigatory grand jury would investigate corruption and said that “a lot of people” were involved, although he did not name any specific suspects.
The story, originally reported in the Inquirer, found that former Philadelphia Traffic Court judge Thomasine Tynes, and state representatives Vanessa Brown, Louise Bryan, Ronald Waters and Michelle Brownlee, all from Philadelphia district, accepted cash or gifts that they did not report from an undercover operative, Tyron Ali.
“Philadelphians and the accused deserve due process, and I am going to give it to them,” D.A. Seth Williams said.
D.A. Williams did not disclose any specifics of the investigation, citing grand jury confidentiality laws, but said that the grand jury has been investigating for several days the case file that was transported to D.A. Williams by Attorney General Kane.
At various points, Kane said that she dropped the investigation, launched in 2010 under then-Attorney General Tom Corbett, because it was racist and targeted black people, because Ali was not credible, and because she referred the case to federal prosecutors, who told her it was not strong enough to merit prosecution.
Check back for more information as this story develops.