You’d think that things couldn’t get any worse for Seth Williams, who currently spends all but one hour a day in a solitary cell at the Philadelphia Detention Center, awaiting an October sentencing hearing on a federal bribery charge.
And yet … here we are.
On Thursday, the city’s Board of Pensions voted to disqualify the disgraced ex-district attorney from collecting a pension. The board, according to city spokesman Mike Dunn, acted on the advice of the Law Department, and punished Williams under the State Public Employee Forfeiture Act and the city’s Public Employee Pension Code Disqualification provisions.
This wasn’t an unexpected development. City Controller Alan Butkovitz started making noise about stripping Williams’ pension soon after Williams abruptly resigned June 29, midway through his federal corruption trial, pleading guilty to a single count of violating the Travel Act, an offense that could keep him behind bars for up to five years.
Losing out on the promise of a sweet city pension is a tough break, for sure. (Take it from your loyal Clout contributors, some of whom don’t have pensions to look forward to. Our futures likely will involve ketchup packets, stale crackers, and lukewarm cups of soup, thank you very much.)
But it looks like Seth also can kiss goodbye the $118,439 he’d already contributed to his pension. Dunn said the city is holding onto that money, which could be used to reimburse the $71,614 the city shelled out on attorneys for Williams at Morgan Lewis until he was officially indicted in March, and the $62,000 fine the local Ethics Board levied against him in January.
A trip to Punta Cana would really come in handy right about now.
U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, the Northeast Philly Democrat now in his second term, has been making quite a national media splash in recent weeks. There was a segment on MSNBC. A longer discussion on C-Span. And a stop at the Howard Stern show.
Wait. Howard Stern? As in: “Baba Booey?”
Brendan Boyle. Baba Booey. Hmm…
Boyle took the bait last week when Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s The Last Word, tweeted this question about President Trump’s discussing a joint cyber security effort with Russian President Vladimir Putin: “Who will introduce a bill in Congress to stop this?” Boyle tweeted back that he was on the case, earning him a spot on O’Donnell’s show the next day. Boyle also spent some time on C-Span’s Washington Journal Tuesday, discussing the failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Before that, on Monday, was a stop at the Howard Stern Wrap-Up Show in New York. That conversation didn’t focus so much on foreign affairs or health-care policy.
Instead, Boyle – who worked a “Baba Booey” into his opening remarks – said he has heard fellow politicians make Stern references, sparking a “moment of recognition” about their mutual fanhood.
At first, we wondered if Boyle suffered some cultural whiplash, going from the raucous Stern show to the more staid confines of C-Span.
“It’s pretty hard to find two more diametrically opposed shows,” Boyle told us.
Then we remembered that some C-Span call-in shows feature people screaming – you guessed it – Baba Booey.
And that got us thinking. Would Boyle ever be the first member of Congress to yell “Baba Booey!” on the floor of the House?
“I’m not sure I’m willing to go that far,” Boyle said.
Apparently, fanhood has its limits.
Poll results: Which politician is going swimming?
We’re well into the summer doldrums over here. And it’s hot. So Councilman Mark Squilla remains our current hero for jumping into a city pool last month – with his clothes and wallet and keys.
So, last week, mainly for our own amusement, Clout asked readers: “If you could (gently) push one local pol into a swimming pool, who would it be?”
The responses were … concerning.
“Let’s make the event more daring and challenging and do it in an empty pool!!!” wrote Richard Donofry of Torresdale.
Geez, Rich. Did you miss the “gently” part of the question?
“Just about all of them, into an empty one. The deep end,” wrote Joseph Farrell, who apparently goes by “Krazy A– Joe.”
Listen, Joe. That’s krazy. You have to pick one. And can we stop with all the empty-pool talk?
“Push them all into the pool,” wrote Jim Shomper of Glenside. “But fill it with ice cubes first. Then give ’em the Sisyphus treatment at the top of the ladder each time someone tries to get out.”
That’s some disturbing imagery, Jim. Tough town!
OK, this poll is officially canceled. Clout is going to find a pool to jump into. One with water.
Staff writers David Gambacorta, Chris Brennan, and William Bender contributed to this column. Tips: firstname.lastname@example.org.