Philly DA Under Fire for Real Estate Arrangement

Seth-WilliamsPhiladelphia District Attorney Seth Williams allegedly staked out a real estate deal for his ex-wife, something he apparently failed to report to the government.

According to Chris Brennan of the Inquirer, Williams arranged for his former spouse to live at a home owned by Robert Herdelin.

Herdelin is a real estate investor who contributed $13,093 to Williams’ PAC from 2009 to 2012, and told Brennan that Williams asked him as a favor to rent the house to his ex-wife Sonita at a reduced rate. Herdelin says he was informed Sonita Williams’ did not have a lot of money to spare at the time.  

Williams approached Herdelin three years ago, and since then until October of last year when the Federal Bureau of Investigation first questioned Herdelin, Sonita Williams had been renting a house for $1,000 a month. The house, estimates Herdelin, could have gathered $2,500 a month.

The agreement Williams solicited may be classified as a gift under the Philadelphia Code, any of which Williams is required to report. He did not report any gifts received on financial reports for 2012 to 2014.

Williams has declined to personally comment on the situation, and a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorneys Office in Philadelphia says the office “could not confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation,” according to the Inquirer.

In December 2015 Williams closed down the PAC he has used for 10 years and opened a new PAC run by Harrisburg Republicans experienced in managing PACs.

Williams is expected to run for re-election in 2017.

June 6th, 2016 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Local races, Top Stories | 30 Comments

30 thoughts on “Philly DA Under Fire for Real Estate Arrangement”

  1. aaron says:

    Has Seth Williams been indicted yet?

  2. Tim says:

    Out of control street crime on the streets of Philly and nothing is being done by this clueless DA.

  3. HaHaHa says:

    Keep waiting for Seth to try to blame this one on you too, AG Kane. Maybe he will say you forged the lease documents. Maybe you mad him cheat on Sonita repeatedly? Maybe it was you who set up this untoward deal??? Just wondering how he can blame you.

  4. Kandy Kane says:

    And everyone thought I was bad. Yikes!!

  5. HaHaHa says:

    Oh snap, Jax!! That is classic Seth, if true. Too broke to just have the car fixed himself. Or too stupid.

    EVERYONE knows who did it … who slashed the tires. I’ll bet Chris Brennan knows too. Why hasn’t she been arrested? Why didn’t she have to pay for the repairs? Why did Seth make the taxpayers foot the bill?

    Seth’s security detail better lawyer up and get down to the FBI … and fast. They can probably cut a deal if the orders came from Seth (or Fina/Costanzo).

  6. garet jax says:

    The blonde was just promoted to unit chief-by Seth. Word on the street is that seths car was parked out front of her house when it was vandalized. His security detail was trying to avoid the embarrassment by reporting the crime as occurring outside seths house in another part of town.

  7. Seth Williams' New Chief of Staff and General Counsel says:

    Seriously — Am I going to jail too???

    And what about my husband, Bob Levant? He is Fina’s lawyer in a $$$-driven lawsuit? If he goes to jail, will we still get the $$$?

    This sucks.

  8. Ghost of Pat Blessington says:

    O is correct. The seeds were planted for Seth’s unraveling the second he hired Fina and Costanzo (to flaming assholes). But the cancer did not grow right away.

    Most prosecutors are good people who want to assume they are working for good people. Many turned a blind eye toward Fina and Costanzo. When the e-mails started to be made public, some at the DA’s Office read the tea leaves and knew that Seth wanted to keep them (they did not know why back then). But McCann and Malone had the courage to tell Williams the truth when he asked what he should do about Fina and Costano. They knew women in the Office were upset. They knew minorities were upset. They knew what Judges and lawyers around the City were saying. And they knew that people who hold beliefs like theirs should not be trusted with the awesome powers of a prosecutor.

    Instead of listening to the counsel of McCann and Malone, Williams forced McCannout and then demoted Malone. It was then that the Office knew that decency and morality were no longer the controlling ideals. Many had heard the rumors of the shady real estate deal, the hiring of Seth’s concubines, the lavish lifestyle, and the partying. But, before he gave Fina and Costanzo the keys to the Castle and forced aside the voices of reason, the Office was lost. The truth could no longer be ignored.

    Once a DA has lost his Office, no new “Social Media Policy” or strong-arm tactics will make it better. Seth Williams went too far. Most in his Office now know about Fina’s relationship with Bob Levant. And that Bob Levant is married to the person Seth replaced McCann with as 2nd in command.

    Seth is a morally bankrupt human being who will now wither away. He will be indicted or voted out. I hope the FBI and USAO are going to move quickly. A politically desperate prosecutor can do a lot of damage to a lot of people.

  9. Bob Levant says:

    Oh shit!! You know about the blonde?!? This is bad …

  10. bungy says:

    Google “Philly ADA romantically linked to alleged drug dealer” and check out the blonde.

  11. I am Rufus and I am about to catch a Target Letter says:

    Google “Honest Servies Fraud”

  12. O says:

    Seth is corrupt. His Office is a mess. It all came to a head when he brought in Levant’s wife as his second in command and forced out Ed McCann (who got scooped up by Kevin Steele in Montgomery County). Seth followed that up by demoting Laurie Malone. It was then that the Office turned on him. They didn’t know much about Fina (even though they saw his e-mails). But EVERYONE at the DA’s Office and in the Courthouse knows that McCann and Malone are hard workers and a straight shooters. Martin (Levant’s wife) does not enjoy a good reputation. Seth has lost the troops. And the whole City knows about the dirty dealings of Levant and Fina and Ali.

    This is just the beginning. Expect other shoe to drop soon.

    The O knows.

  13. Pat Unger says:

    Since Seth hired Frank Fina and Marc Costanzo:*850/20160501_inq_pseth01-g.JPG

  14. Jim J says:

    Anyone know what happened with Harry Levant’s case? Was it really Fina’s Unit or Costanzo’s Unit that handled the case? Why no press conference? Harry ran for Judge. Now he gets arrested for stealing and there’s no press conference? And why no jail time? Did Levant pay his victims back?

  15. aaron says:

    He’s not under fire. Seth Williams is under investigation. Which is worse. Because the FBI doesn’t miss.

  16. Marie says:

    I cringe every time I read: “Chief Integrity Officer Kathleen Martin.” Nothing is more of an oxymoron. She is Fina’s lawyer’s wife. She has no business being at the DA’s Office, let alone being 2nd in command.

    The DA’s Office has become “rotten” indeed. And it all started when Frank Fina arrived with his pervert pals.

    When is Seth Williams going to wake up and realize what he has done. There is no way that Mike Barley, a Corbett guy, is really going to raise money for Seth. The recent articles are going to make him more toxic in the eyes of potential Philadelphia donors. And he continues to employ racists as prosecutors. One racist’s conduce was recently labeled “highly improper” by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

  17. HaHaHa says:

    Seth Williams:

    The guy who is covering up for the person who defaced City property in front of his house.

    The guy who’s Twitter feed once included photos from Big Booty Latina and Bib Booty Ebony

    The guy who spent campaign funds on membership dues at The Union League and The Sporting Club at The Belvue.

    The guy who turned his back on the victim of a violent crime because one of the perpetrators gave him lots of $$$.

    The guy who lives with his Mommy.

    The guy who demoted a top Deputy and hard-working prosecutor because she suggested that the Office not have racist, sexist prosecutors on staff.

    The guy who promotes women he has slept with.

    The guy that has a Harrisburg bartender and Corbett Republicans running his PAC.

    The guy that got his ass kicked by a defense attorney.

    The guy who is the subject of FBI criminal investigation.

    The guy who sips bourbon in a bow-tie at the Union League.

    The guy who gets field-passes for NFL games and then refuses to prosecute NFL players who sucker-punch off-duty officers.

    The guy whose family lives in the suburbs in an illegally paid-for house with the ex-wife that he cheated on repeatedly.

    The guy who goes to bat for disgusting lawyers with multiple ethics violations so they can become Judges.

    The guy violating his own anti- fraternization policy.

    And that is all BEFORE WE EVEN TALK ABOUT Frank Fina and Marc Costanzo.

  18. gulagPittsburgh says:

    Did Judge Feudale have emails with Seth and Fina, or just Angela at the Inky? What do his emails with Cynthia Baldwin show? Maybe that he knew she was unethically selling out the PSU 3, but closed his eyes for some blind justice?

  19. Bob Levant' Brother says:

    OMG … Does this mean they are looking into how Seth, Fina and his pals hooked me up on my criminal case? The one where I stole $$$ from my clients?!?

  20. teddailey says:

    This is the precursor for Williams getting indicated. The Feds do this. They weaken their target before they strike. Getting indicted may be Williams’ only hope for re-election. The Feds’ interest in John Street got him re-elected in Philly.

    In this case, though, I don’t think Williams has the support in the African American community. He has been an absolute disaster as DA. And his decision(s) to keep the racist prosecutors still does not sit well.

    The biggest issue for Williams will be that he has lost the “sophisticated” voters that got him elected to begin with. And he has totally lost the female vote. If he doesn’t end up in prison, the person who runs against him will have tons of material to use against Seth Williams.

  21. bungy says:

    Yeah – Kathy. You ARE going to prison. You better get down to the FBI and start yapping.

  22. Tim says:

    On the other Seth Wiliams article, a guy clearly in the Williams camp is playing the race-card:

    Philly Democrats are the worst.

  23. gregbitt1990 says:


    “That’s the gist of one of the provisions of a new anti-fraternization policy put into place this month in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

    The two-page policy, implemented by Chief Integrity Officer Kathleen Martin, outlines an array of possible relationships that are now forbidden – save a few caveats.

    According to a copy of the policy obtained by the Daily News, intimate or sexual relationships are forbidden between a superior and a subordinate, an assistant district attorney and an intern, and job applicants and anyone who has a hand in making hires.

    However – yeah, there’s a however – preexisting relationships involving any of the above are OK, as long as they are disclosed to higher-ups.” (from article)

    So – if Seth Williams was sleeping with a blonde employee of his, who would he report that too in order to comply with this new Policy of his? And what if he was giving this blonde employee promotions?

  24. This is a silly story too …. …. … … … … … … … says:

    They are ALL “silly” stories. And the people that type the truth about Seth Williams and his dirty ways … they are all “idiots.”

    Just ignore the smoke. There’s no fire …

  25. Seth Williams' New Chief of Staff and General Counsel says:

    I knew it.

    Why did I listen to my cross-eyed husband and take this stupid job?!? Now I am going to end up in jail too. WTF!??!!??????

    I told my husband that people would figure it out. Fuckin’ idiot. He represents Tyron Ali (the con-man cooperator in the sting case). Then he represents Seth (who took the sting case and protected Ali). Now he is representing Fina (who gave Ali the deal of a lifetime and let him keep the $400K of taxpayer money he stole).

    Of course people would eventually figure it out. Damn!!! I do NOT want to go to prison ….

  26. HaHaHa says:

    Wow!! Surprised that Seth Williams again has “no comment.”

    He also has had no comment on this:

    Desperate politicians do not make good District Attorneys. Desperate politicians demote hard-working prosecutors who have the morals and decency that Frank Fina and his pals do not.

    “A new day; A new D.A.” is not working out too well for Philadelphians.

    Here’s Seth Williams’ new Chief of Staff/General Counsel, Kathy Martin, defending Frank Fina and his racist, pervert buddies:

    “Keeping them here [at the Philadelphia D.A.’s Office] exhibits our faith in them that they’re smart, capable, hard-working, dedicated civil servants,” Martin said.

    But their attitudes towards minorities, women and homosexuals are very disturbing. The fact that Fina and his pals shared the material with Judges they appeared in front of is even more disturbing. They created a group of people who all had the goods on each other. People that shared the same racist, woman-hating attitudes. And, once you were part of that group, the other members had a hammer they could hold over you.

    We know that Frank Fina was one of the prosecutors in this group. He prosecuted people for mis-using their State computers. And then he used his State computer on this:… . The image below is but one example. There are many others. Many are just as disturbing.

    When AG Kane won, but before she took office, Frank Fina finalized his “unjust” plea deal with Tyron Ali. Bruce Beemer called it “unjust.” Fina dropped all of the over 2,000 criminal charges that were pending against Ali. Fina also let Ali keep the $430K he stole from a non-profit set up to help children.

    Con-man Ali’s lawyer is Bob Levant. Fina negotiated that sweet deal, in the 11th hour (right before Kane was set to take over) with Levant.

    And now Fina is suing the AG’s Office for money. And guess who one of his lawyers is? Yep — Bob Levant.

    Rumor has it that Bob Levant has also helped Seth Williams with the FBI’s criminal investigation into Williams.

    A ways back, Seth Williams hired Frank Fina. Whether he knew of Fina’s “issues” when he hired him we may never know. But Williams certainly knows now. The Superior Court just called Frank Fina’s conduct in the Penn State case “highly improper.” Williams certainly knows that too.

    “Chief of Staff/General Counsel” is a high paying job. Seth Williams hired Kathy Martin off the street into that job. She has zero general counsel experience and hardly any prosecutorial experience.

    But – she is Bob Levant’s wife. Now – we have Seth Williams’ “Chief of Staff” in the Press, speaking on behalf of the Philadelphia DA’s Office, defending and praising her husband’s racist client – Frank Fina.

    Huge coincidence, huh?? I think not. It’s no wonder that Williams refuses to fire Fina. They are in bed together. Levant and Martin are on that stinky mattress too.

    Is it OK that Kathy Martin, a high-paid City employee, has a financial interest in smearing the AG and propping up her husband’s client, Frank Fina?

    Is it OK that Williams is now demoting hard-working career prosecutors who speak out to him about not employing racists and sexists as prosecutors?

    Is it OK that Seth Williams seems to have abandoned everything to protect HIMSELF and his political career?

    Something is rotten at the DA’s Office.

Comments are closed.