Philadelphia DA Convenes Investigating Grand Jury For Political - My9 New Jersey

Philadelphia DA Convenes Investigating Grand Jury For Political Corruption Allegations

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PHILADELPHIA -

The brewing controversy over the Pennsylvania Attorney General's decision to kill an undercover sting of local politicians is back in the news.

Now, the Philadelphia D.A. is taking a dramatic step.

Fox 29's Jeff Cole reports.

Little had been heard since Philly D.A. Seth Williams had wrestled the "case" from Attorney General Kathleen Kane, but this morning, Williams stepped in front of a bank of cameras, to say a "team" of his prosecutors will now bring it to a grand jury.

The DA's decision to haul the white, hot controversial sting-case in front of an Investigating Grand Jury looks like an attempt to lower the heat to allow 36 Philadelphian's to make the call on the big question.

The story burst into public view in March in bold headlines.

Four Philadelphia-area State Representatives: Brownlee, Bishop, Brown, Waters, and Former Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes had allegedly taken cash and a gift from an informant, wired to record audio and video, sent in by the office of the Attorney General.

But newly elected Attorney General Kathleen Kane killed the probe in-part because she said the case was racially tainted.

“Our hands were tied behind our backs before I was ever even sworn in,” said Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

In April, the lead investigator in the probe told Fox 29 claims of racial targeting were false.

“Nobody would ever suggest ask or order me to target members of my own race or any race,” said lead investigator Claude Thomas. “It would not happen.”

The controversy flared into a public battle between DA Williams and Kane over her decision to tank the sting.

Williams' pressured Kane to give him the evidence, including hundreds of hours of recordings, which he will present to the Grand Jury.

Williams hinted Wednesday, the case could beyond the 5 public officials whose names are known, and he said he's heard and seen some of the recordings.

“I would not be standing here before you if I thought there was a reason not to go before the Grand Jury,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.

When asked if the audio and video is convincing, Williams’ said, “It is.”

Attorney General Kane had no comment today.

The four state reps and the former judge have said either they did nothing wrong or they couldn't recall taking cash.

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