Williams Explains Decision to Keep Fina

Fina-WilliamsPhiladelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is finally answering questions.

Well, it would be more accurate to say he’s finally taking questions.

On Friday, Williams announced he would not fire prosecutors Frank Fina, Marc Costanzo and Pat Blessington for their involvement in pornographic and lewd email chains on state-owned equipment during their time in the Attorney General’s office.

The first two men are involved in the Kathleen Kane saga as she has blamed their desire to keep their behavior secret for her legal troubles.

Today, Philadelphia Magazine released an interview with Williams conducted by Associate Editor Holly Otterbein.

She asked why the DA decided to release his decision at 4:23 p.m. on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day weekend.

“I finished up Friday morning,” Williams stated “and I wanted to release it as soon as possible. If I had waited until Tuesday, then I’m sure people would have been mad. ‘Oh, he knew Friday.’ So there was no right or wrong. All I could do is what I thought was best.”

He did not say, though, whether he deliberately set out to finish his review on that day so he could release the information at the most advantageous possible time. He also apparently didn’t hold a press conference because he wasn’t sure people would want to ask him questions.

“What I thought I would do was, as soon as possible, make the release,” he said. “And then if there were people such as yourself who wanted to ask specific questions, I’d make myself available to answer questions.”

Otterbein also asked why Fina was given the same punishment as the other two men when he sent some of the emails and was not just a recipient.

“I tried to look at what the facts were,” Williams responded. “And I can’t state strongly enough how stupid the emails were, right. But if you’re going to look at it and break it down, what we saw and what was released by the Supreme Court on the 26th were 20 emails. And you look at it, Frank Fina was more than just a recipient, yes. He forwarded seven of them, and of the seven that he forwarded, two of them he made comments on.”

Nevertheless the DA still felt Fina’s actions didn’t warrant his termination.

When Otterbein pointed out the rampant racism and sexism in the emails, Williams shifted the blame to their then-employer Tom Corbett.

“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to say that these aren’t offensive. I’m not trying to say that they aren’t racist or misogynistic or ignorant or just outright asinine. How this could be done in the workplace, I don’t know. How it is that Attorney General Corbett allowed this, I don’t know. I don’t understand a workplace where people have as much time to be sending around all this stupid shit at work. I don’t.”

Additionally, while Williams asserted he wasn’t afraid of what effect this decision would have on his political future he did seem quite upset at how he has been portrayed.

“I’d rather not have you asking me these questions, or NOW being mad at me, or the Daily News having a picture of me from before I lost 55 pounds on the front page of the Daily News,” he stated.

Finally, Williams brought up the fact that the man he feels was at the center of the email activity was kept on and eventually promoted by Kathleen Kane (this fact was also included in Williams’ Friday statement).

So that seems to cut to the core of the issue. Neither side will fire anyone because neither side wants to admit wrongdoing.

20 Responses

  1. When will the press ask Seth about his ADA’s and investigators have sex with rape victims?

    How many ADA’s have had sex with defendants and how many of those cases had to be plead out because the sexual relationships?

    Is Seth running a brothel or a DA’s office?

  2. The DA’s office is a temporary assignment to those elected to it.

    It is a public institution and the duty of any DA is to represent the institution. It is time for the DA to realize his oath requires him to represent the office and not his personal opinions about the rights of employees to engage in acts unbecoming to the quality we citizens demand from any elected DA to represent this office.

    It should be clear that I and most of those I speak to don’t believe that employees should be engaged on the job watching or exchanging in racist, sexist or even silly emails while being paid for work! And it is unbecoming to the office that prosecutes pornography and racisms that employees be retained who exhibit such characteristics.

    We have heard not apologies from the offenders to the people but a bunch of rationalizations from Mr. Williams for hiring them.

    It is time for Mr. Williams to act or resign himself to the continued degeneration of public confidence in the ability of his office to properly represent the interests of those who want his office be an example for ethical conduct and not a place that tolerates such behavior.

  3. Pavoter – Williams pretended to take the high ground for NOT getting rid of the pervert racist creeps (who clearly lack judgment too). He pretended that he was not going to worry about the political ramifications.

    But, in reality, he was just ignoring the facts. He is sticking with his anti-Kane team. He is hoping that he gets more mileage out of those creeps than he gets negative attention.

    He misjudged the people of Philadelphia.

  4. Pat unger- everything you say is true. I think it’s fair to add that seths political career ends with him as philly da. I think most people would agree higher office is out pf the question for seth. Especially since it sounds like there are more scandals to come.

  5. In my opinion – Williams should spend less time worrying about what picture the Daily News uses and more time focused on who he sends to Court to represent the citizens of Philadelphia.

    Philadelphia is almost half black. Philadelphia is half female. The DA’s Office deserves better than people who think it’s OK to use their State equipment to look at racist material and sexist material. Many journalists keep calling the e-mails “porn e-mails.” If that is on purpose, then they are actively supporting the narrative that the e-mails were just “naughty pictures.” This is not as muck Porn-gate as much as it is Racism-gate and Sexism-gate.

    If it is true that Fina requested and received his e-mails before getting hired in Philadelphia, then Williams has some questions he needs to answer. Did Fina not tell him what was in those e-mails (specifically – about the KFC attack photo)? If not – why? And why should he keep his job if he pulled the wool over the eyes of his boss? And if Fina did tell Williams, why did Williams hire him anyway?

    Williams said they Fina and Costanzo told him it was just some stupid stuff that everyone sent around. Williams also stated that he is a sexist and misogynist … and is recovering. Not sure what that means, but it is not a good quote for someone who wants to be AG or Senator. This is a nightmare for Williams. These guys are ripping his Office apart (many DA’s want those guys gone yesterday) and dragging down the image of his Office (in a place where public confidence is very important).

  6. Senator – It really is his fault at this point. It is his fault he got involved in the STUPID feud between AG Kane (who is even more stupid) and a low-level prosecutor (Fina).

    And not that he can’t deny knowing that they are racist creep perverts, he is aligning himself with them anyway. All his nonsense about when they did it is just that – nonsense. If a hospital that employs a doctor finds out that the doctor screwed up many times at his prior job – a fact he hid when he got hired – then the hospital has every right to get rid of that doctor. If a bank employs someone that gets exposed as a fraudster – but he committed the fraud at his last job – the bank has every right to get rid of him.

    In this case – it is even worse. At their last jobs – Fina and Costanzo exposed themselves as pigs. Cowardly pigs. And they showed poor judgment too. and their behavior may have been criminal. Think about it …. the used their State computers while at work. That’s robbing the taxpayers of PA. The material (which HAS NOT all come out yet) may have also been obscene under the law.

    Bottom line – Seth Williams continues to use our money paying two pervert pig racists who stole from us in the past.

  7. Seth: It’s Corbett’s fault. It’s Kane’s fault. It’s not my fault that people think that I’m a slimy dufus. That’s the Daily News’ fault. It’s not my fault people think I’m a sexist. That’s NOW’s fault.

    It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault. No really, it’s not my fault.”

  8. Seth is not an Uncle Tom, he himself is a slave owner, he has no respect for his own race. He is disgusting and if his father knew what he was doing he would slap the shit out of him. I am embarrassed to be an AA in Pa with Seth Williams behavior, clearly, he knows nothing about the struggle.

  9. Williams admitting that he is a (recovering) sexist and misogynist is not a good sign. Did he really say that he thinks all whites are “recovering racists?”

    Anyway – NOW was right. Williams is wrong. The type of people who partake in and then distribute that kind of material should not be prosecutors. The role is much too important and calls for individuals with morals. Fina and Costanzo didn’t come out and admit this stuff and take responsibility. They have been trying to hide their participation for a long time. That speaks volumes about them too.

    Based on what I read about those e-mails, I would not let my daughter in the same room with them alone. I would imagine that African Americans would not feel comfortable with them either.

    I agree with the newspaper — UNJUSTIFIABLE

  10. LOL … I get it.

    Blacks and women working at the DA’s Office can’t be too happy right now.

  11. Seth Williams: “I’m not trying to say that they aren’t racist or misogynistic or ignorant …”

    Me neither. Because they are. They are obscene and offensive too. Seth Williams can blame Corbett all he wants. Corbett got rid of the people responsible when he was in charge. Williams is doing the opposite.

    Williams continues to let his Kane-hate get the better of him. He can pretend the “right thing to do” was to keep them. He can pretend that it was “only politicos” telling him he had to fire them. But the truth is that any one with half a brain knows it is wrong to allow men like that to represent Philadelphians as Assistant District Attorneys.

    That was once a proud office. Not so much now.

  12. Here it is:

    “I am a recovering sexist and a recovering misogynist. I think that we all have growth to do and growth to make.”

    Maybe that explains it. Recovering or not, Williams seems to admit he is a sexist and a misogynist … in between talking about his Father being the target of racists.

    He says he “knows a little bit about racism” and then pretends that it is OK that he has a prosecutor working for him who thinks this is funny:


    He continues to purposefully confuse the issue too. If he knew “a little” about racism, he would know that he employs a racist (Frank Fina). If he really asked the people in this City … and even the people who work in his office in the trenches, they would have told him that it is not OK to have a racist representing the Citizens of Philadelphia in Court.

    And it’s also not OK to employ people who probably committed crimes when they used their State computers to send that garbage to their buddies.

    Wonder if Frank Fina sent these to his wife:

    The very first image in the binder — part of an email from Fina to two colleagues — depicts a topless woman on her back, giving oral sex to a man in a dress shirt. It is captioned in the style of a motivational poster: “WILLINGNESS: Bend over backwards to do an exceptional job.” It’s not all blowjobs. The next image in the set featured anal sex.

    One of the few pictures of a clothed female showed a woman wearing a T-shirt emblazoned: “WIFE: Washing, Ironing, F**ing, Etc.” … That caption?: “PLACE: Know it!”

  13. Williams could have very easily side-stepped the boulder that continues to roll downhill and pick up speed with Fina & Co. squarely in its path. You don’t stop an issue like this, you either get out of its way or you get flattened by it. And Williams seems determined to end up a pancake.

  14. Mr. Field – You left out the part where Seth Williams says that he is a “recovering sexist” and a “recovering misogynist” …. Why is that?

    BTW – Seth Williams doesn’t like the picture because he is standing in between two racist creeps …. not because he is 55 pounds heavier ….

  15. Obviously Williams’ temperament and judgement are deficient commodities. How’d he become a judge(DA) in the first place? What a striking display of ineptitude and total lack of courage. I hope NOW keeps going after this guy. Can’t trust him.

  16. “I’m not trying to say that they aren’t racist or misogynistic”… I just don’t care that they are, because the sting case was dropped by AG and FBI for being racist, and I can’t acknowledge how important that is to the case.

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