What was Seth Williams thinking?

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams along the sidelines at the Redskins versus Eagles game at Lincoln Financial Field December 26, 2015.

The clouds should have been clearing for our district attorney.

Kathleen Kane, his nemesis, the rival he's endlessly blamed for so many of his office's misfortunes, is vanquished, newly convicted of perjury. The headlines about his porn-dabbling deputies have all but vanished.

But now another storm gathers for Seth Williams, a powerful one very much of his own making: Giftgate.

If you haven't heard, before leaving for a family vacation this weekend, our D.A. casually dropped off a thick packet at the offices of the city Ethics Board. Inside were details of $160,050 in previously unreported gifts from friends, defense lawyers, business owners, and others - five years' worth of swag and free vacations.

Wherever our judgment-challenged D.A. is vacationing, I hope he's paying for it himself.

Because, as the newly released financial disclosures plainly show, there is just so much Williams hasn't been paying for.

Where to start?

Yearly getaways to the Key West vacation home of Philly lawyer Richard Hoy.

Airline tickets for those trips - and trips to Vegas and San Diego - paid for by Bill Weiss, owner of Woody's Bar. Weiss also kicked in $1,500 in cash, but, hey, a D.A. needs to travel in style, right?

Thousands in Phillies and 76ers tickets, and still more trips, these to Atlantic City, paid for by Williams' best bud, Scott DiClaudio. He's a defense lawyer turned judge, elected in 2015 with Williams' backing. DiClaudio is also listed as giving Williams $1,500 in Visa gift cards.

There's a couch - yes, a couch - an iPad, and a trip to Punta Cana from a campaign donor, Mohammad N. Ali.

(We now know why Williams has hit the gym so hard these last few years, shedding weight: It's always board-shorts weather somewhere.)

There's the roof over his head: a $45,000 roof, graciously donated by Mike Palmieri of Lynmar Builders in New Jersey.

And much more.

The disclosures are as troubling as they are plentiful.

If not criminal, they represent the most alarming example of recent poor judgment by Williams. From protecting porn-tainted prosecutors, to passing the buck on an assault investigation of union leader John Dougherty, to questionable personnel moves that caused many experienced prosecutors to flee, to accepting gifts as if it's Supermarket Sweep at the District Attorney's Office.

The hits just keep on coming. They add up. They damage the credibility and morale of the institution he leads.

People inside the office all say the same thing: The most disheartening aspect of their boss' behavior is that it's not surprising anymore.

Like all his talk about money.

Williams, who has a $175,572 salary, makes a habit of crying poverty. Like when he told Philly Mag reporter David Gambacorta last month that, what with his alimony, child support, and children's private-school tuition, he's just trying to "eke out an existence."

How can that sell with the underpaid assistant district attorneys who form the backbone of his office, carrying enormous workloads while earning a fraction of what he does? All of them sacrificing financially, choosing city courtrooms over cushy law firms. And none of them getting new roofs and enough trips to cover suitcases with stickers.

Why didn't Williams report his goodies?

He "wasn't paying attention," his lawyer said. He didn't realize he had to because he didn't see most of them as gifts, Samuel C. Stretton said, but rather as nice things his close friends gave him.

Which raises the question: How does the city's top law enforcement official either forget or not realize he should probably tell someone he was gifted the actual roof over his head?

And how could a D.A. who - in his vaunted victory over Kane, the sting she shut down and he picked up - convicted five public officials for taking cash and gifts and not reporting it take all these gifts himself?

Stretton didn't mince words. "It was a terrible mistake," he said, and the most extensive financial flub he's ever seen. And he's Williams' lawyer.

The federal agents poring over Williams' financial records are surely searching for any proof that gift-givers received preferential treatment from the District Attorney's Office.

Williams' disclosure

Many people who know Williams don't believe they will. That his trouble comes not from criminality but financial recklessness and a feeling that, hey, the district attorney should enjoy some perks.

But people don't try to buy access without expecting some.

What is clear is that Williams, who started out with promise and early on brought reform and results to a district attorney's office that badly needed it, now faces a storm he might not weather.

mnewall@phillynews.com

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