Lynne Abraham submits application to become interim DA

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 Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham  (Emma Lee/WHYY, file)

Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham (Emma Lee/WHYY, file)

A former Philadelphia District Attorney is seeking a come-back, but only temporarily.

Lynne Abraham, 76, who served as the city’s DA from 1991 to 2010, has submitted an application to be the interim district attorney, saying she decided after many people asked her to take the position until a new DA is chosen by the voters this fall.

“I started to get really just tremendous amount of interest from people who said, ‘the office could use somebody like you for the interim basis,’ and I decided to do that.”

The former judge and DA said she wants to bring integrity back to the office in the wake of disgraced former top prosecutor Seth Williams, who resigned last month after pleading guilty to bribery and fraud charges. 

“Not interfering with the next DA, not making broad programmatic changes. That’s for the next DA,” she said. “But sort of put a nice and firm hand on the wheel of the ship to right its integrity.” 

The deadline to apply for the interim DA post is Friday. The city’s Board of Judges will select the stop-gap prosecutor. So far, the applicants have included Kathleen Martin, first deputy in the DA’s Office, former Common Pleas Judge Paul Panepinto and former candidate for district attorney Joe Khan.

Abraham, meanwhile, said she would not take a salary, nor attempt to appear on the November ballot to be the full-time DA. She originally became Philadelphia’s top prosecutor by the same route, finishing Ron Castille’s term when he stepped down to persue an unsuccessful run for mayor. He eventually would become chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

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