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Three More Philadelphia Politicians Charged In Sting Investigation

Seth WilliamsThree more Philadelphia politicians are feeling the wrath of city District Attorney Seth Williams.

State Reps. Louise Williams Bishop and Michelle Brownlee and former state Rep. Harold James are facing grand jury charges, Williams announced Tuesday morning. All three politicians are Philadelphia Democrats, like Williams.

Today’s announcement brings the total number of politicians Williams’ office has brought charges against to six. Former Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes and state Reps. Ronald G. Waters and Vanessa Lowery Brown were also arrested and charged in accordance with the investigation.

Williams adopted this three-year sting investigation after it was abandoned by Attorney General Kathleen Kane. The Inquirer reported in March that Kane had secretly ended the investigation. Kane claimed in a statement afterwards that the investigation was “deeply flawed” and racially focused with inadequate evidence.

The Philly DA dismissed Kane’s charges of racism and pledged to take up the case.

The six politicians — all African American — have been accused of accepting money from lobbyists in exchange for votes. Tynes pleaded guilty to a conflict-of-interest charge, and Waters and Brown admitted to illegally accepting money before a grand jury.

In addition, Brownlee and James have already admitted to their wrongdoing, Williams said Tuesday.

Bishop, however, has refused questions and denied accepting any money.

The six politicians were taped accepting cash from lobbyist Tyron Ali, according to investigation documents obtained by the Inquirer.

13 Responses

  1. Seth Williams is a Rat Lover. He called that Rat “a Business Man”. Hello? Set-up Artist walks free after scamming $430,000. Yeah that is Justice.

  2. Seth Williams should be the leading Democratic candidate against Sen. Toomey.

  3. The charge isn’t bribery because there isn’t a quid-pro-quo to make a vote or do official action. The failure to report is what the plea appears to be for. Williams is trying to make people think that he got them on the bribery charges that Kane dismissed.

  4. The flim flamming Kane apologists continue to entertain. Its not bribery! Its just cash being given in exchange for influence in secret! Also my friend at work thinks this is dumb!

  5. Illegally accepting money is not bribery?
    Nonsense. Why else accept illegal money as a public official? Charity work?

  6. Given the context, totally newsworthy. Philadelphians deserve leaders with character. That will never happen if a blind eye is turned to what happens there. If careers careers are not ended based on the evidence collected, the corruption grows worse. The good people know this.

  7. Tynes was already going to jail on separate federal charges. ZERO impact by Williams.

    Also, Williams did not get them on the bribery charges.

    From pennlive: “A grand jury report issued late last year said Waters and Brown were tape recorded while meeting with an informant who gave them both cash. Neither reported it as a campaign donation or a gift — Pennsylvania law lets state legislators accept cash as long as they meet reporting requirements and the money is not linked to any sort of official action.”

    So, the failure was in the reporting. No indication that they engaged in any official action (ie bribery). One of the tapes even has a conversation where BOTH parties state the money/gifts are not quid pro quo.

    One of my friends at work, who has not been following this and only saw Williams press conference today, thought he was wasting time going after little stuff, and just being an opportunist looking to promote himself for higher office.

    It’s not like he was announcing arrest of cops who killed unarmed people, or prosecuting corruption in the D.A.’s office. Or, maybe admitting to some wrongful conviction by his department. These would be worthy of a press conference.

  8. FELONS who will all lose their jobs. Quite a WRATH. NET Effect: SETH a HERO KANE a ZERO.

  9. “Three more Philadelphia politicians are feeling the wrath of city District Attorney Seth Williams.”

    More? Wrath? The ones so far have gotten slaps on the wrists that amount to little more than a ticket for jaywalking.

    “Conflict of interest” is not “bribery”, and she’s serving her sentence concurrently with a separate conviction. Net effect: ZERO

    “Illegally accepting money”, again is not “bribery”. I think they got fines that are less than what it would cost them to go to court for trial. So, deal was even better than winning in court.

    Ali, who committed the biggest crime, gets away scott free.

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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