What comes next for Philly's District Attorney's Office
With DA Seth Williams resigning, the Board of Judges could select a replacement to finish the six months left in his second term. Interim D.A. Kathleen Martin said she would continue to serve if asked.
What comes next for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, now that DA Seth Williams has pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge and plans to resign?
Williams in March named his chief of staff, Kathleen Martin, as acting district attorney after he surrendered his law license to a temporary suspension.
Martin continues in that role. Williams' second term ends in early January.
The Board of Judges, made up of all Philadelphia Common Pleas judges, has the power to select a replacement to finish Williams' term.
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Martin said she was proud of her work leading the D.A.'s office and would continue to serve if selected by the Board of Judges.
"Throughout this unfortunate period, they continued to display the diligence, fortitude and integrity that has been the hallmark of this office," Martin said, praising her staff. "If you look around to all these people, they're dedicated public servants. They want to do their jobs and they want to do it well."
Gabriel Roberts, a spokesman for the First Judicial District, said the Board of Judges will convene to select a replacement.
"As a result of the resignation of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, a committee of the Board of Judges will meet to establish the process and deadline for accepting applications to fill the vacancy," Roberts said. "President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper will then choose a date to convene a special session of the Board of Judges Committee to select an interim replacement."
State law requires the judges to make that pick "if any vacancy shall occur, either by death, resignation, or removal from office" until the next general election. But they could allow Martin to serve out six months left in the term.
It has been 26 years since the judges selected a new district attorney. They selected one of their own, then-Judge Lynne Abraham, to fill a vacancy created when Ron Castille stepped down to run for mayor.
An independent candidate could join the race if they submit at least 4,075 signatures on candidate nomination forms by Aug. 1. To run as an independent, a candidate would have had to disaffiliate from any political party at least 30 days before this year's primary.