Philly DA Under Fire for Real Estate Arrangement
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.