Monday, December 7, 2015

Philadelphia DA feeling 'Porngate' pressure

With the focus of the racist and pornographic email scandal moving from Harrisburg to Philadelphia, pressure is mounting on Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams, reported The Legal Intelligencer.
Over the past few weeks, state and local politicos have been calling on Williams to fire three prosecutors in his office involved in the 'Porngate' scandal that has been unfolding over the past year. Although Williams decided to transfer the three prosecutors out of the special investigations unit, attorneys have said the scandal is likely to continue and could affect some prosecutions being brought by Williams' office.
Media outlets have reported that Frank Fina will be transferred to the civil litigation unit, E. Marc Costanzo will be transferred to the appeals unit and Patrick Blessington will be transferred to the Post-Conviction Relief Act unit.
Fina, Costanzo and Blessington have been at the heart of the scandal that has ensnared numerous prosecutors and judicial officials, including state Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin and former Justice Seamus P. McCaffery, who were both found to have sent or received numerous emails that were pornographic and offensive in nature.
Criminal defense attorney Jeff Lindy said the email scandal will likely continue.
"I don't think that the constituent groups who are upset about Seth Williams having these three on staff are going to get any less upset because he's reassigned them," Lindy said. "Does that mean that he should fire them? That's got to be a political decision that he makes. Make no mistake about it, this is all about politics."
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