Judge: Anti-bribery statement can be used against prosecutor

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 9, 2017 9:55 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams arrives for his arraignment on bribery and extortion charges at the federal courthouse, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in Philadelphia.

(Philadelphia) -- Federal prosecutors can use statements Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams made when he prosecuted six elected officials for bribery when he stands trial on similar charges, likely later this year.

Prosecutors say the statements show Williams knew it was wrong to promise people legal favors in exchange for $100,000 worth of cash and gifts.

The judge issued the ruling Thursday, disagreeing with defense attorney Thomas Burke who called the statements "irrelevant and inflammatory."

Williams earned kudos when he prosecuted the elected officials after then-Attorney General Kathleen Kane declined to file charges. At the time, Williams said, "The people of Pennsylvania ... don't deserve elected officials who think it is OK to sell their office."

Williams, a Democrat, isn't seeking re-election.

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