Former Philly D.A. Seth Williams disbarred

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Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced in February he would not run for a third term, saying, “I have made regrettable mistakes in my personal life and personal financial life that cast an unnecessary shadow” over the office.

Former Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, who pleaded guilty in a federal bribery case and is awaiting sentencing, has been disbarred by the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

The action, announced Thursday, is retroactive to April 13, the effective date when his law license was suspended after he was indicted.

Williams abruptly pleaded guilty and resigned from office June 29, two weeks into his corruption trial. He was immediately sent to prison by U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond.

Williams is scheduled to be sentenced by Diamond next Tuesday.

Williams admitted to a single violation of the Travel Act, stemming from bribes he accepted from a wealthy donor to his campaign. Twenty-eight other charges were dropped, but Williams admitted that he committed all of the conduct in those counts, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Zauzmer said.

On Monday, federal prosecutors urged Diamond to sentence Williams to five years in prison, the maximum term allowed under the law.

Prosecutors also recommended that Williams pay nearly $100,000 in forfeiture and restitution.

Williams was elected in 2009 and was expected to be a criminal justice reformer, but his tenure was plagued by scandals tied to his personal financial struggles and gifts he received and failed to report.

Shortly before his indictment, Williams announced that he would not seek reelection and apologized for the “embarrassment and shame” he brought to the office.

But he refused to resign and continued to collect his $175,572-a-year salary until he pleaded guilty and quit.