Lawmakers’ Report Says Philadelphia D.A.’s Policies Are a Factor in the Crime Rate
Posted onJune 28, 2015|Comments Off on Lawmakers’ Report Says Philadelphia D.A.’s Policies Are a Factor in the Crime Rate
A report by state legislators released Tuesday says Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams’ policies are ‘a factor’ in the city’s crime rate.
The report, which called for Williams to appoint a police reformer to his top spot, said, “As the top law enforcement officer, the District Attorney, in effect, controls police and court personnel.”
“Williams’ conduct has contributed to an atmosphere in which the city’s citizens continue to live with the perception that the public safety has been maintained, but not provided, by those in the highest positions of law enforcement in the city.”
The report said “a number of decisions and policies have been adopted to influence policing strategies and police operations in Philadelphia.”
Among the decisions were decisions made by Williams’ former Deputy Chief of Staff, James Loney, and his former assistant District Attorney, Thomas E. Miller.
Loney was hired by Williams in 2009 to train police commanders in the Philadelphia Police Department and help with policy coordination. He moved to the top of the PPD in 2011, when Williams left to head the D.A.’s Office. Williams’ first act as D.A. was to name Loney his chief of staff.
In 2013, Ewing and Miller were part of a team of D.A. investigators that accused a former city detective, Joseph J. Rafferty II, of killing a former girlfriend. Rafferty, who was found guilt of aggravated assault and murder in the death, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2014 in the death. After Rafferty pleaded guilty, Williams fired him, and Rafferty sued Williams. At that point, Williams had to go to the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court to fire Rafferty, but he could fire him only after he had been convicted of murder.
“The fact that Rafferty was found guilty of