Archive for March, 2017

ELECTION FRAUD TASK FORCE OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO SPECIAL 197TH ELECTION

March 24, 2017

Task Force calls for submissions showing fraud

PHILADELPHIA (March 24, 2017) – The Election Fraud Task Force in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has launched an investigation into the Special Election in the 197th Legislative District. Philadelphians who have video, photographic, or eyewitness accounts of fraud at the polls should call 215-686-8724 or email the Task Force at justice@phila.gov.

“After each election, the Election Fraud Task Force reviews all of the calls that come into its hotline and reviews the reports and evidence collected in the field by the specially assigned Detectives and Assistant District Attorneys. We are continuing to review all of our evidence and encourage anyone who has information regarding voter fraud to contact the office,” said Kathleen E. Martin, First Assistant District Attorney. “Please send any video, photographic, or eyewitness accounts of fraud at the polls to justice@phila.gov or call the Task Force at 215-686-8724.”

On Election Day, the Task Force received approximately fifty calls to its hotline and responded to several dozen allegations of illegal activity at polling places across the 197th. Some of the issues the Task Force is investigating include the use and placement of candidate write-in stamps, electioneering inside the polling place, illegal voter assistance, and individuals writing on posted sample ballots.

In 2014, Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams created the Election Fraud Task Force to investigate and prosecute allegations of Election Day criminal activity. The Task Force continues to be part of the District Attorney’s Special Investigations Unit and is staffed by ADAs and detectives.

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ELECTION FRAUD TASK FORCE READY FOR SPECIAL ELECTION IN THE 197TH

March 20, 2017

Hotline will take calls at 215-988-2399

PHILADELPHIA (March 20, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams reminds voters in the Pennsylvania’s 197th House District that the office’s Election Fraud Task Force is ready to respond to any problems that may arise at the polls. The Task Force’s hotline, staffed by Spanish speaking detectives and specially assigned Assistant District Attorneys (ADA), will be ready to help when the polls open at 7 a.m.

“Every election, no matter how small or large, citywide or just one district, is important. The Election Fraud Task Force will be ready on Tuesday,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “If you see voter fraud or a crime being committed, you should immediately call the Election Fraud Task Force so we can help ensure fairness at the polls.”

Philadelphians in the 197th PA House District can call the Election Fraud Task Force at 215-988-2399 if they see or experience problems during the special election. The Task Force will have Spanish-speaking detectives and ADAs deployed throughout the district’s seven wards.

The Election Fraud Task Force will coordinate its efforts with the City Commissioners and Philadelphia’s Central Election Court to respond to any election-related concerns. As always, if the need arises, the Task Force can enlist additional ADAs on Election Day to respond to emerging issues. Typically, the Task Force is asked to respond to allegations of illegal voting, candidate write-in issues, refusal of election boards to recognize poll watcher certificates, intimidation and illegal electioneering.

In 2014, Williams created the Election Fraud Task Force to investigate and prosecute allegations of Election Day criminal activity. The Task Force continues to be part of the District Attorney’s Special Investigations Unit and is staffed by ADAs and detectives. The office will also issue Special Election updates via its Twitter account while the polls are open.

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KATHLEEN E. MARTIN NAMED ACTING FIRST ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY

March 16, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (March 16, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams today announced the appointment of Kathleen E. Martin as the Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Acting First Assistant District Attorney. Martin will also continue as the office’s Chief of Staff, General Counsel and Chief Integrity Officer. The appointment is effective immediately.

“When I appointed Kathleen Martin to be my Chief of Staff, General Counsel and Chief Integrity Officer; it was part of a long-overdue staffing reform package. She has done an amazing job in this role and today I have appointed her to be the Acting First Assistant District Attorney for the remainder of my term,” said District Attorney R. Seth Williams. “Filling this key, and currently vacant, position will keep stability and continuity in the office and ensure that many of the advances she has been championing continue uninterrupted.”

Since joining the office in Nov. of 2015, Ms. Martin has:

  • Supervised the DAO’s Training, Technology and Special Projects Division in addition to overseeing the Finance, Human Resources, Law Enforcement, and Communications Offices;
  • Helped launch a new Conviction Review Unit with supporting policies and protocols for the review of innocence claims while coordinating with other agencies to create a more transparent and rigorous investigatory review process;
  • Participated in a variety of key management committees including Capital Case Review, Juvenile Life Without Parole Review, City Strategic Planning, Criminal Justice Advisory Board, and others; and
  • Served as General Counsel to the District Attorney on civil matters.

Prior to joining the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Ms. Martin enjoyed a 25-year career practicing law in the state and federal courts where she developed a reputation as a fierce litigator. In 2014 and 2015, Ms. Martin served as an ADA in Pike County, Pennsylvania where she represented the Commonwealth in a wide range of cases. During that time she assisted the Pennsylvania State Police and other law enforcement agencies during the month long manhunt for Eric Frein.

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