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Interim Philly DA post draws 14 applicants

The selected applicant will serve the last five and a half months of former District Attorney Seth Williams' second term while he is in federal custody, awaiting sentencing in a corruption case.

Fourteen people applied by Friday's deadline for the post of interim district attorney in Philadelphia, including a former district attorney, the woman currently running the office, a candidate who ran for the office this year, three retired judges, and one senior judge.

All will be required to make a presentation to the Board of Judges, made up of the 88 Common Pleas Court judges, on Wednesday. The board will vote for a nominee Thursday. That will require a winner with a majority, raising the likelihood of multiple rounds of voting until a winner emerges.

That winner will finish the final 5½ months of the second term of District Attorney Seth Williams, who resigned in disgrace last month just before pleading guilty in a federal corruption case. The work will entail reviving an office of 590 people with a $52 million budget, beleaguered by 22 months of scandal swirling around the former boss.

The candidates include:

Lynne M. Abraham — Started as an assistant district attorney in 1967, ran the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, served four years as a Municipal Court judge and then 11 years as a Common Pleas Court judge until her colleagues elected her district attorney in 1991 to fill a vacancy. She then served 18 years in that post, stepping down in 2009. She ran for mayor in 2015, finishing third in the six-candidate Democratic primary election.

Joe Khan — Started as an assistant district attorney in 2000, became a federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 2006, resigned last year to run in the May 16 Democratic primary election for district attorney, finishing second in the seven-candidate field.

Kathleen Martin — Joined the office in November 2015 as chief of staff to Williams, moved up to first assistant district attorney in March when he surrendered his law license after being indicted on federal corruption charges, now running the office while Williams is in federal custody, awaiting sentencing.

John Delaney — Deputy district attorney in charge of the Trial Division, he joined the office in 1981 and is part of the senior management team.

Ben Lerner — Chief of the Defender Association of Philadelphia from 1975 to 1990, appointed to the Common Pleas Court bench in 1996, winning a full term in 1999 and serving until March 2016, when he became Mayor Kenney's deputy managing director for criminal justice.

William Manfredi — Now a dispute resolution specialist, Manfredi served 31 years as a Common Pleas Court judge, retiring in December 2013. That included 10 years in the criminal division, overseeing homicide trials, and the scheduling for homicide and major crime trials. He ran unsuccessfully in 2003 for Superior Court.

Paul Panepinto — Retired from the Common Pleas Court bench in March after 26 years, now serving on the Board of Directors of City Trusts, which oversees assets like Girard College and Wills Eye Hospital. Panepinto ran unsuccessfully for the state Supreme Court in 2007, 2009, and 2015 and for Commonwealth Court in 2011.

D. Webster Keogh — Now a senior judge in Common Pleas Court, Keogh was first appointed to the court in 1991 and won full 10-year terms in 1993 and 2003. Appointed administrative judge of the Trial Division in 2007 by the state Supreme Court.

Kelley Hodge — Started in 1997 as public defender in Richmond, Va., appointed as Philadelphia's Safe Schools Advocate by then-Gov. Tom Corbett in 2011, became an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia in 2004, serving for eight years under Abraham and then Williams. Now in private practice.

Robert A. Rovner — Served as assistant district attorney from 1968 to 1970, when he was elected as a state senator, serving one term. Now runs his own firm and hosts a weekly radio show on WWDB-860AM.

Curtis Douglas — a former city and federal prosecutor for 25 years who served most recently as deputy in charge of investigations. He left the office in July 2016.

Arlene Fisk — served as an assistant district attorney for nearly 22 years before moving to federal prosecutor for nearly 14 years. Retired earlier this year.

James Berardinelli — In private practice since 2012, he served 17 years as an assistant district attorney, working on homicide and sex crime cases.

Leon Aristotle Williams — a defense attorney and general practitioner since 1983.½