Philly gets a new, interim, DA in two weeks

Kathleen Martin, First Assistant District Attorney, left, has been running the office since former D.A. Seth Williams surrendered his law license in April and resigned last week.

Philadelphia will have a new district attorney in two weeks.

And that person will serve less than six months as the city’s top law enforcement officer.

Common Pleas Court President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper on Thursday assigned three of her colleagues — Judges Frederica Massiah-Jackson, Ida K. Chen, and Arnold L. New — to a “special committee” to review applications for the job.

The post is vacant because District Attorney Seth Williams resigned last week, just before pleading guilty to a count of bribery in federal court.

Kathleen Martin, who served as Williams’ chief of staff and then first assistant district attorney, has been running the office since he voluntarily surrendered his law license in April after he was indicted in March.

Martin says she intends to apply for the job, finishing the last stretch of Williams’ second term in office.

Joe Khan, who finished second in the May 16 Democratic primary election for district attorney, also plans to apply. Khan was an assistant district attorney in the city for six years and then a federal prosecutor for 10 years.

Applicants must submit a letter of interest along with a resume and a certificate of good standing issued by the prothonotary of the state Supreme Court by 2 p.m. July 14. The special committee of judges will make recommendations to the full Board of Judges, which includes 88 Common Pleas judges, who have the final say, according to state law.

The Board of Judges will hear presentations from “qualified, interested persons” on July 19, according to the First Judicial District, and then vote in a special meeting July 20.

Larry Krasner, a defense and civil rights attorney who won the Democratic nomination for district attorney, will not apply for the temporary post, according to spokesman Ben Waxman.

“It’s the judges’ decision,” Waxman said when asked if Krasner had an opinion on who should be selected. “We respect the process.”

Beth Grossman, the Republican nominee in the Nov. 7 general election, served as an assistant district attorney in the city for 21 years. She too will not apply for the temporary post.

“I just think at this point, with everything that happened with Seth, they just need a steady hand to right the ship,” Grossman said.

Williams, a onetime rising Democratic political prospect in Philadelphia now known as Inmate No. 75926-066 at the Federal Detention Center, will be sentenced in October.