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April 01, 2017

Philly DA Seth Williams to suspend law license, will stay in office

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams agreed to suspend his law license but has no plans to step down from his office while he faces more than 20 federal corruption charges, according to multiple reports.

The decision unfolded in a courtroom Friday, where it was also revealed that attorney Thomas Burke would now be representing Williams, CBSPhilly reported Friday.

"Today, District Attorney Williams took the step of agreeing to a temporary suspension of his law license pending the outcome of this case," Burke said. "He will remain in office in an administrative capacity only."

Williams makes an annual salary of $175,000, according to the Associated Press.

Burke, who once worked in the district attorney's office, said he was committed to the case after defense lawyer Michael Diamondstein sought permission to step away from the case citing ethical reasons and Williams' inability to pay for his representation. 

“Short of my death or being beat up by aliens, I’m in for the long haul,” Burke told the judge, according to CBSPhilly.

Williams has been indicted by a grand jury on 23 federal corruption offenses for alleged illegal activity.

Federal authorities claim that Williams accepted lavish vacations, plane tickets, a car, furniture and cash in exchange for favors. Officials also allege that Williams pocketed a relative's pension and Social Security money. 

Burke said the indictment was "devoid of any allegation that a quid pro quo took place."

Williams pled not guilty to the charges earlier this week.

Governor Tom Wolf, Mayor Jim Kenney and the Philadelphia Bar Association have all called for Williams' resignation.