Philadelphia, June 2, 2011: District Attorney Seth Williams is pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick Blessington to the position of Chief of Special Investigations. Pat will report directly to Curtis Douglas, the Deputy for Investigations, where he will be targeting government and city corruption, and under Pat’s leadership a new Corruption Prosecution Task Force will also be formed in the office.
“In 1904 author Lincoln Steffens infamously wrote in the book The Shame of the Cities that Philadelphia was ‘corrupt and contended’,” says District Attorney Seth Williams. “ Now a century later I am working to change that by bringing Patrick Blessington into the Office. Mr. Blessington has had a long and distinguished career as a prosecutor and I’m thrilled that he has agreed to become a member of the D.A.’s office. This truly is a great day for the entire city of Philadelphia.”
After graduating from Villanova Law School, Pat practiced briefly as an associate in civil practice before joining the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for the first time, in March of 1986. In this Office he served in a variety of trial units, including the Homicide Unit, and as Assistant Chief and then Chief of the Juvenile Unit. He was extraordinarily successful and productive in all the positions he served in while in this Office.
In 1997, Mr. Blessington joined the Office of Attorney General of the Commonwealth, where he has remained until now. Pat rose to the level of Senior Deputy Attorney General, and along the way, he broadened his experience while producing even more impressive work as a prosecutor. Among his accomplishments are death penalty murder convictions in three different counties; inLackawannaCountyfor the robbery- murders of three elderly women, inColumbiaCountyfor the murder of a toddler and his infant brother, by their father, and inBradfordCountyfor the murders of two uniformed deputy sheriffs who were serving a warrant.
In Susquehanna County he convicted a physician for the 25 year old first degree murder of a lawyer whose wife was in an adulterous affair with the murderer. And inMonroeCounty, he used a grand jury to develop a case involving three brothers running a multi-million dollar theft ring of equipment and vehicles. All three were convicted and imprisoned, one for life, as a result of the commission of a murder during the theft conspiracy.
In addition to the investigation and trial prosecution of violent crimes, Mr. Blessington excelled at long term investigations of corruption matters. The occupations of those whom he has prosecuted to conviction ranges from campaign workers and political consultants, committee persons, and ward leaders, to Township Commissioners, prison wardens, District Justices and a Common Pleas judge, to, most recently, legislative aides and elected members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Those last convictions resulted in some significant prison sentences, a lengthy grand jury report, and almost 2 million dollars in restitution ordered.
“There is no question of Mr. Blessington’s abilities and accomplishments,” continues Mr. Williams, “And in addition, he shares my commitment to pursuing corruption, wherever it may be, as vigorously as we pursue gun and drug criminals. As I’ve said many times all the citizens of Philadelphia deserve equal justice under the law from one end of Germantown Avenue to the other, and from South Philly to the Northeast.”
“Mr. Blessington joins an Investigation Division under the direction of Deputy Curtis Douglas, and with an extremely talented group of supervisors, including Lisa Caulfield, Peter Berson, David Augenbraun, and Sybil Murphy. I welcome Pat back to this Office, and I look forward to the results of his work, to the benefit of the citizens of Philadelphia.”