Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Man-Child In The Men's Room

By Ralph Cipriano

When you cover a trial, you run into everybody in the men's room.

The prosecutors, the defense lawyers. Even the defendant, Rufus Seth Williams.

Talk about an uncomfortable situation. There I was face to face at the sink with the guy I've been ripping for the past five years.

 But to my surprise, he actually wanted to talk.

It hasn't been much of a relationship.

On my end, as I mentioned previously, I just rip the D.A. for the shocking things he's done, things that nobody else in the media would call him on.

I've blasted him for publishing an irresponsible grand jury report about the Catholic Church that was riddled with more than 20 factual errors; a bogus grand jury report that passed off as gospel the fraudulent fables told by "Billy Doe."

I've taken him to task for trashing the reputations of six narcotics officers without a shred of proof. And for turning loose more than 800 drug dealers arrested by those same cops, similarly without any evidence of police misconduct.

I've castigated him for not prosecuting perpetrators of domestic abuse, because it might lower his conviction rate at election time.

And his response for five straight years has been remarkably consistent -- he just stonewalls me.

Silence, usually from him, and often from his spokespeople.

When I did run into the D.A. at press conferences, he would usually say hello to many other reporters by name, and then he would make a point of stiffing me.

So. when I was covering his political corruption trial, the day after I called him a sleaze ball and a shakedown artist in print, when I ran into him in the men's room, I did not expect Rufus Seth Williams to thank me for my work.

But he did. What he was happy about was that I had publicly expressed skepticism about the relatively paltry official acts that the feds had accused him of selling his office for. In exchange for the gifts he was taking as a "thankful beggar." Freebies such as free airplane tickets, a chocolate-colored sofa and a beat-up old Jaguar convertible.

We've never been formally introduced. But in the men's room, it was the D.A. who initiated the pleasantries.

Fancy meeting you here, he said with a big smile.

We talked about the trial. He told me that his defense lawyers, Tom Burke and Trevan Borum, were old friends who had stood by him. Two guys he had met back in 1992, on the first day they all reported to the D.A.'s office as brand new assistant district attorneys.

The next day of the trial, I wrote about Mohammed Ali, the shady businessman who was allegedly bribing the D.A. Ali had more than $200 million in his bank account; the feds had the Jordanian native and frequent flyer under surveillance as a suspected money launderer. But the feds never charged Ali with money-laundering after he agreed to become a cooperating witness against the D.A. That was the real quid pro quo in the case, Tom Burke told the jury.

When I wrote about that, and Seth was so happy he actually came over, this time in the courtroom, addressed me by name [for the first time in six years], and shook my hand. And then he thanked me again.

On trial for his life, Rufus Seth Williams figured he still had the touch. One on one, with somebody who'd been ripping him for five straight years, he thought he was still such a charmer that he could play me.

Amazing. I wound up thinking to myself, and not for the first time, that this wasn't a mature individual I was dealing with. This was a man child, a flimflam artist, the worst kind of con man who actually believes his own B.S.

Someone who never accepts responsibility for his actions.

Someone who always blames others.

Someone who doesn't even consider, let alone understand, the consequences of his actions when it comes to hurting other people.

Even when he sends an innocent priest off to jail, where he dies, as in the case of Father Charles Engelhardt.

Rufus Seth Williams is somebody who thinks he can always con anybody, no matter what. And get away with it.

From that angle, the trial of Seth Williams was an immensely satisfying public spectacle. Because for perhaps the first time in his life, the man child was held responsible for his actions. Even though in his last moments on the public stage he was still trying to play everybody. "Little Sethie," as Michael Weiss referred to him, was doing his crying act about not having any money left, and no car, only a bicycle to peddle around with.

 But this time he didn't get away with it; this time, a judge refused to buy it.

"I don't believe you," Judge Paul S. Diamond told the man child. You have no credibility, the judge said. That's when the judge ordered the marshals to take Williams into custody.

And the man child, who had had been coddled all his life, now has almost four months to sit alone in his 8 x 10 cell at the SHU. Where, without any cell phones or computers to distract him, and only one visitor a week, he will have plenty of time to ponder the consequences of his actions.

For that reason, it was satisfying to see the man-child finally held accountable. Keep in mind that eight years ago, Rufus Seth Williams, then a candidate for D.A., was hauled into the city's Election Court and temporarily kicked off the ballot, after he got in trouble for playing with his mother's credit cards and screwing up his campaign finances.

He learned nothing. Instead, over the next eight years, he kept doing the same things. And taking money and freebies from lowlife friends like Mohammad Ali and Michael Weiss. Because he thought he would get away with it forever, because of who he was.

My overriding thought: how on earth did this irresponsible man-child get to be the highest law enforcement officer in Philadelphia? How many people knew he was a fraud, and worse, a criminal, but said nothing?

That's when his trial makes me sick. Because the media and the government can now pretend that the corruption of Rufus Seth Williams has been hermetically sealed; confined to a few sordid relationships with a couple of sleaze ball business guys.

And that when it came to justice, somehow this completely corrupt individual who would sell his office and steal from his own mother always did the right thing.

The real story is that he probably contaminated everything he touched. And that the damage he did to the district attorney's office, and to justice in this city, may be incalculable.

And now, thanks to a chain of events set in motion by the corruption of Rufus Seth Williams, Larry Krasner, a Black Lives Matter ideologue, is about to take over as our new D.A.

And plunge the city further into lawlessness.

It's not enough that Rufus Seth Williams staged a with hunt with the Catholic Church, and used a fraudulent victim to send four innocent men to jail.

It's not enough that Williams smeared six narcotics officers and irresponsibly freed more than 800 drug dealers, so they could collect millions of dollars in cash from the taxpayers, and commit more crimes.

It's not enough that Williams wouldn't prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence, even though the cops had suspects in custody, because he was worried about lowering his conviction rate.

Now, the city of Philadelphia is prepared to sink even lower with Larry Krasner as D.A.

We're replacing a criminal with a lawyer who has devoted his life to setting as many criminals free as possible.

And the media and the government get to pretend that the only thing Seth Williams ever did wrong was to help himself to a few free vacations, a free sofa, and a beat-up old Jaguar.

Everybody's off the hook. While we're about to sink even lower into the abyss.


  1. So was Seth reading your reporting all this time? Sounds like he caught every word of it.

    I'd like to believe the post at 11:27pm Wednesday reminded him that whatever was in the missing 2016 financial disclosure form was so bad he couldn't testify and threw in the towel an hour later.

    Because a guy like this surely thought he could charm the jury, no? And yet he didn't even try.

    1. Williams read every word written about him and then bleated after about how he is so misunderstood and everyone is just out to get him "because".

    2. Anon,
      Seth didn't even try to charm the jury as would be expected because his purpose has been served. His role as the self-centered black democrat that disrespects the law and even good honest police officers is over.

      Most people don't see or understand the depth of what's called the controlled opposition in this city's and this country's completely corrupt government. We have Josh Shapiro playing off of Trump's rehearsed bumbling ineptness. Trump's role is that of what's known as a dramatic foil. His ineptness is a character role designed to give someone like Josh Shapiro the stage to appear as the "reasonable and intelligent leader". Of course Trump tells Shapiro that hate crimes against Jews are faked. And of course Shapiro states,

      "I am working hard to protect our way of life, our Constitution, from Donald Trump, The President of the United States".

      Come on people, that statement is ludicrous! These government actors, including Trump, are playing us for fools. Seth is no different, his "reckless anti-police" role has been served. Now the real corruption that is posing as our savior from the likes of Trump and Seth will need an event to show us what happens when we have men like Larry Krasner, the 'Black Lives Matter ideologue', as the new DA.

      So Ralph, these are your words, 'Black Lives Matter ideologue', and 'plunge this city further into lawlessness'. Wow, are you predicting lawlessness under Krasner, or are you warning us? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you must be blissfully unaware of all this political role playing and manufactured events that the corrupt use as a way to lead us sheep.

    3. You are right about politics being kabuki theater, but you lose me when you're pushing an even bigger conspiracy that can only mean that everybody is in on it.

    4. You know what's interesting Ralph, "everybody" is a relatively small number compared to America's general population. The sort of political deception that Americans are enduring now is simply a question of who owns our once-trusted mainstream media? Extremely wealthy billionaire Jews now own and control America's, and essentially the world's, mainstream media. This statement is not meant to be pejorative, or anti-Semitic. It's just a verifiable fact.

      We're seeing an immensely powerful tool that has evolved slowly to become propaganda that serves a Greater Israel Project. Our politicians are mostly characters that serve to bring about this agenda. If any of our politicians are actually genuine and want to serve our nation and not Israel, then they are taken out of the game with false accusations published in this now powerfully corrupt mainstream media. And as I stated above, Trump's so-called adversarial relationship with the media is feigned. He is a major player for the Greater Israel Project and serves as the inept nationalist American leader that wants to sensor mainstream media. When the smoke finally clears from all this kabuki theater, the corrupt Jewish owned and controlled mainstream media will appear to be our "shining savior" that told the truth all along about Trump. And to cement the whole show and make it more believable, CNN may be sacrificed as the one that actually did tell lies about Trump. And I'm starting to believe the average American will swallow it all, hook line and sinker. We need to stop "educating" ourselves about politics and world affairs with the television. Sadly, it's just a grand illusion with some major sporting events thrown in to keep us addicted.

  2. Ralph - well said.

    Why didn't you wizz on his shoes when you had the opportunity.

    1. Ha! I thought the same thing.

  3. What's next for you to report on?
    How about a story on crazy Stacy Parks Miller?

  4. Ralph,

    What an excellent piece which confirms what I've thought all along about this narcissistic parasite who has thumbed his nose at justice and set aside the civil rights of countless people of our area.

    Now that there is confirmation that he has been reading your posts all along, I am now convinced that Seth himself posted the few words of praise found on an earlier post of yours.

    I am not sure of the status of the Msgr. Lynn case at this point but I sure as hell hope that whatever Judge is presently hearing his case has enough sense to dismiss all charges and end this charade of justice which you have rightly labeled a "witch hunt" against the Catholic Church.

  5. As always Ralph...Great article that fully explains the truth of what has been going on in that office since Rufus took over. The lawlessness on his part (and others previously and still in that office) continues. Their arrogance even after this embarrassment to the city by their leader continues to go on as they victimize the victims again and again. As you pointed out, the city will never truly know the current and continuing harm he and his blind followers have done and continue to do. Now that Rufus has been given the deal of a lifetime by the FEDs, all that can be hoped for is that he expose those that helped him to commit his crimes against society.

    Hey McCann...can you hear that? That is the faint sound of the Federal authorities listening to Rufus tell them all about the crimes you committed that lead up to the release of over eight hundred violent drug offenders who have now committed hundreds of new offenses such as murders, shootings, robberies, rapes etc. and the faint sound of those federal authorities beginning the process of federally indicting you, coming to your house, locking you up and putting you in a cell in the SHU right next to your buddy Rufus. Perhaps your new employer Steele should be made aware of your crimes against the City of Philadelphia and society before his office is embarrassed by the publicity of your crimes Ed. Have you told him about your crimes Ed?

    And you Sorenson, can you also hear the faint sound of the federal authorities listening to Rufus fully cooperate with them and telling them how just for political grandstanding for future elections, you agreed with him to pursue, arrest, prosecute and destroy the lives and reputations of innocent priests. Do you really think Rufus won't give you and others up so that he may be considered for a reduced sentence? He is a coward and he will not take the fall alone if he believes it will benefit him.

    And to all you fools in the DA's Office who blindly followed the orders of Rufus the criminal and knowingly violated your oath to serve the public by putting your own personal interest first in hopes of getting on Rufus's good side, be prepared for either finding new outside employment or the risk of you also being implicated in a far reaching federal investigation.

    It is truly heartbreaking to see what Rufus, Ed McCann and several others have done to a once great District Attorney's Office in pursuit of their own selfish agenda while willingly sacrificing the safety and lives of those they swore to protect.

    I would imagine that for Lynn Abraham, watching the destruction of a great office that she spent so many years building is devastating.

    1. Someone else with insider information. Keep writing!

    2. Let's make him a regular columnist.

    3. Seth would talk to Ralph, he trusts him and knows he speaks the truth, maybe Ralph could coax him to talk. I would love to know what prosecutors do to get a confession from innocents, how they hide evidence, or invent crimes that never happened.

      Do they sit around and pick a victim, by first deciding what would outrage the public more a politician, a priest or union officials. Seth will not be telling the truth we are hoping to hear to the feds to incriminate anyone else, he would only be interested in telling his story if there is a profit in it .

      Even though he cant profit from a these crimes, he can tell us what goes on in the DAs office, as a DA of a major city it would be a blockbuster book. Especially if its a tell all.

  6. Ralph, I've long thought that Williams is a sociopath, and his behavior in the restroom during the trial, confirms my suspicions. His comment when entering his guilty plea, as reported to me by a friend sitting in the courtroom that day, and not how it's been characterized in the media, was "I apologize for the troubles" and not "I apologize for what I've done". The difference is telling. He still is not accepting responsibility for what he's done, and likely never will, no matter how long he cools his heels in prison.

    And for the record, when I found out more about his real character, or lack thereof, before the General Election in 2009, I warned people that not only was he financially bankrupt--and how could he handle a budget of millions when his own house was in such disorder, he was morally bankrupt. He has no moral center, and you really can't be the chief prosecutor without some morals and scruples. People ignored or pooh-poohed me. And we all suffer as a result.

  7. Then narcotic cops were crumbs Ralph they did everything that was said ..... they got so lucky so just know that

  8. Hey Lou, getting lucky is having the FEDs offer you an incredible deal of pleading guilty to (1) count of a federal crime as opposed to (29) counts after you were getting slaughtered in court by witness after witness and only having to do a maximum of five years...that's luck!

    Those narcotics officers were arrested on bogus charges after Rufus used his influence to try and save his political career after making the horrible decision to have them officers remove from their duties without cause. Those officers chose to go to federal trial and put their lives on the line because they "knew they were innocent" and refused to cooperate or plead guilty to crimes they know they did not commit.

    As Ralph has said on this blog many many times...when is the last time you saw six police officers go on federal trial for all those charges, have a parade of witnesses testify FOR them including a high ranking member of the District Attorney's Office and be acquitted of ALL charges. Not to mention the jurors repeatedly saying what a joke the whole case was that the federal government put on.

    Lou, I am sure you commented because you either are or know one of the many violent drug dealers these narcs put away, but how is it that you condone federal investigators and prosecutors charging police officers with federal crimes when those same officers were, during some of those cases, actually shown to be on vacation in another state. Not to mention the defense attorneys showing that the federal authorities intentionally lied on the witness stand or altered official documents they presented at trial. All witnesses against the officers who were put on the stand by the prosecutors were obviously and painstakingly coached by the federal prosecutor and lying FBI Agents. This was commented on by the jurors themselves.

    As Ralph stated on this blog, the jury foreman said "Their (the federal prosecutor's) whole case was a joke and I could have been out of there in 10 minutes after going back to render a decision. Again, not luck..TRUTH!

    So again Lou...luck, I think not. What I do see is that the jury saw through the entire fiasco of an attempt by the federal government to save the political career of Rufus before they became aware of his ongoing crimes that they themselves inevitably had to put a stop to. Lets be honest Lou, whatever back door deals were made to try and save Rufus, Ed McCann and yes even Chuck Ramsey to save themselves from the poor decision they made to remove those narcs from their work and cost the city millions upon millions of dollars completely backfired on them.

    1. I am glad you mentioned FBI agents lying for the prosecution, the same thing happened at the Traffic Court trial, wonder if it was the same patriot.

      This agent was caught lying, he lied to a grand jury and again at trial and was caught by the defense team in front of Inky reporters but not one word was ever printed.Prosecutors do not care if they send innocents to jail but the Inky should care.

      Too bad we can't get an agent elected to office, then we would see the Inky reporters come out of the woodwork and change their tunes, it would be a crime if they lied in office but when an agent does it for the prosecution is a different story altogether.

      We know what the government is teaching us, but I had higher hopes from the Inky reporters.

      The crime is that they stand by and let criminal actions, by the prosecution and FBI, happen without reporting it. When it becomes profitable for the Inky to do the right thing, then and only then will they print the truth.

      The truth must not pay as there is little to be had in their paper.

  9. Mr. Cipriano, Great stuff, tell me more! I'm hooked.

  10. RALPH, thanks for your pursuit of justice. Have you looked into the matter involving the acting DA, Kathleen Martin, her husband, Robert Levant, and her brother in law, Harry Levant? Reportedly, Harry Levant stole over 2 million dollars of client's money but was given a sweetheart deal by the DA's Office where he did not spend 1 night in jail. Check it out Ralph.

  11. Do you want to know what is astounding to me? One of the biggest political stories of Philadelphia history hits this city such as the acting District Attorney, Rufus Seth Williams is charged with and pleads guilty to corruption charges thereby jeopardizing thousands upon thousands upon thousands of cases while he was in office and the Inky is already finished reporting on this story.

    They continue for some reason, even after his conviction to basically give Rufus a pass. Sure, I know there were a few stories covering the trial, but lets be honest, the Inky was relentless in destroying others who were NOT even found guilty, but were simply charged with crimes. What is it with this questionable relationship between the Inky and Rufus?

    As stated by Anonymous 7/4, 11:19 PM, why doesn't the Inky, the Feds etc. also look into the obviously corrupt conduct regarding the relationship between Rufus, Kathy Martin, Robert Levant and Harry Levant. There is soooo much more to the Rufus story.

    1. Whatever you say about these folks, please don’t forget to include Mariana Sorensen as she’s key in the Lynn, Avery, Engelhardt, Shero travesty.

      Consider this admittedly simplistic – but probably not so hypothetical - scenario:

      For a time, both Sorensen and Rufus were peer ADA’s. Of the two, Rufus was obviously the one with boundless political ambitions. When Rufus was finally elected as the DA, Sorensen became his subordinate.

      Undoubtedly anxious to curry favor with her former colleague-turned-boss, Sorensen (the author of the first Grand Jury report that legitimately excoriated the Archdiocese of Philadelphia) developed a plan to convict Cardinal Bevilacqua.

      Part of the plan involved a distorted misapplication of the EWOC statute that existed before ‘Momma Lynn’ had successfully lobbied to change it.

      The other part – whether it happened by serendipity, pure luck or by devious design – involved junkie Doe’s being sprung from Graterford by the DA’s office most probably in exchange for his testimony against Avery, Lynn and Shero.

      We’ve all read on Ralph’s blog how Sorensen prepared an ‘intellectually dishonest’ Grand Jury report, and the indictment that preceded the actual investigation. Somewhere along the line Sorensen probably dangled this tasty, potentially career boosting morsel before Rufus who swallowed it ‘hook, line and stinker’.

      When Rufus finally realized that he was duped, he had no choice but to jettison Sorensen (whom he viewed as a liability at this point), but to carry on with this charade lest he lose face even though it involved jailing three priests (one of whom died manacled to a gurney) and a visually handicapped school teacher. That’s an obscene price to pay just to save face, isn’t it?

      Ralph, you mentioned that when you met with Rufus in the ‘boy’s club’, he commended you for your work. He obviously had been digesting every article.

      Rufus knows ALL the secrets. As another commenter had mentioned, I sincerely hope that opportunistic Rufus has been approached by the feds to spill his guts about the others in his former organization.

      Who knows, but he might be able to shave a couple of years off his jail time.

  12. No need to re-invent the wheel. Bobby Allyn of News Works did a great job on the Harry Levant story:

    1. This is from September 2016. What happened since?

    2. I can't find anything on this case in court records, Lexus, no where, WTH?

  13. Ralph,
    Is there a search widget for this blog? It would be where you put the comments on the sidebar.

  14. Inquirer has a commentary piece in todays paper about media literacy. What a joke? Was this supposed to be on the comics page. Their lack of coverage of Rufus Williams/Sorensen/Judges Hughes, Sammina, & Ceissler is why the term "fake news" gets legs
    Ralph - I dont know why you arent on the front page any more, but thank you for following this story and keeping us informed


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