The text message arrived early Thursday on Kathleen Martin's cellphone.

Appropriately enough, it was from her boss, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, a man known for his fascination with electronics and social media.

He said he was pleading guilty to a federal bribery count and would resign.

With that, Martin, 49, whom Williams recruited in November 2015 as chief of staff and general counsel, and then elevated to second-in-command — first assistant district attorney – went to work preparing for the inevitable news conference as acting district attorney.

Flanked by five of her top deputies in the conference room on the second floor of the Widener Building southeast of City Hall, Martin went before reporters shortly after 2 p.m. to assure the public – and her staff – that the prosecutor's office was bigger than Seth Williams.

"The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office embodies the phrase that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," she said at the start of her statement.

She praised how the line prosecutors conducted themselves through "this unfortunate period" of months of headlines about the investigation and prosecution of Williams.

She brushed aside questions about morale and what she did to help prosecutors cope with the embarrassment of their boss' trial for accepting gifts from businessmen seeking favorable treatment.

"If you look around to all these people," Martin said, referring to an audience full of prosecutors and staff, "they are dedicated public servants. The morale is deep inside of them. They wanted to do the job and they wanted to do it well. … And that job they did yesterday, they did today and will continue to do tomorrow."

A lot of her audience agreed with her, though not for attribution. Tears were visible in the crowd and there was even some gallows humor.

Regardless of the name at the top, the District Attorney's Office runs itself fueled by new arrests, and regular deadlines involving hearings, trials, sentencings and appeals. And the "line DAs" — the prosecutors who staff courtrooms daily — are generally removed from what goes on in the 18th-floor executive offices.

"The briefs still have to get written," one prosecutor said.

Martin will remain in charge of the office until the person elected district attorney on Nov. 7 is sworn into office in January, or until the city's board of Common Pleas Court judges selects an interim district attorney.

Gabriel Roberts, spokesman for the city courts, said Thursday that the Board of Judges would meet to create a process and deadline for accepting applications to fill the vacancy.

President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper will then set a date for the judges to convene and select an interim replacement, Roberts said.

Martin sidestepped the question of whether she would submit her name to the judges.

"I don't believe submission is necessary," Martin said. "I will state that I'm proud of the work the District Attorney's Office has done the last number of months under my guidance, and I will continue to do so to the best of my ability with the help of the deputies and chiefs of this unit. And without them this work cannot be done."

Martin fielded reporters' questions for about 15 minutes. She said Williams "made a lot of progressive decisions and a lot of changes for the good" and cited the office's charging unit and the organization of prosecutors into units representing geographical areas of the city.

She said that her feelings about what happened to Williams "don't matter" and declined to comment on his decision to plead guilty and his immediate incarceration pending sentencing.

And no, she added, it was not a relief.

"Relief? I wouldn't say that," Martin replied to one reporter's question. "Anyone who prosecutes and does this for a living, I don't think it's ever a relief when someone goes into custody. Justice needs to be served one way or the other. I'm not privy to Judge Diamond's reasoning or his decision, but he certainly had a right to do what he did."

Martin said Williams' name would be removed from office doors and other locations "in due time."

By the end of the day, Williams was already gone from the District Attorney's Office's website. Clicking on "Meet the DA" led to a large white space.