PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Now that Philadelphia’s District Attorney has been indicted and arraigned on Federal corruption charges, can he remain the top law enforcer in the city and if so, for how long?
Seth Williams maintains his innocence.
Chancellor for the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Deborah Gross says, “It’s not until the person is actually convicted and at the sentencing, that the person can be required to step down.”
Gross says, just like anyone else, Williams has a right to a fair and just trial.
“He can still be a district attorney,” she said.
Gross says there is no law that states District Attorneys need to continue their professional education to maintain their license.
“They only have had to be admitted to practice before the supreme court for at least one year,” she said
Williams has pleaded guilty to ethics violations, but to be disbarred — he must be reviewed by the state’s disciplinary board.
“This could take a while, it is pretty much up to the system and the supreme court judges,” said Gross.
And he would be allowed to argue for himself.
“If he choses to resign, his first assistant would become the district attorney, until the board of judges meets to elect the district attorney,” she said.
Williams did plead guilty to an ethics board for not reporting gifts in the past, and until or unless the state’s disciplinary board disbars him, he can remain District Attorney. It’s also possible the senate could vote him out.