Philly NOW: Williams must act on email porn

     Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. (NewsWorks file photo)

    Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. (NewsWorks file photo)

    The Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women is wondering why Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams hasn’t yet acted on the revelation that two of his senior prosecutors trafficked in pornographic email on government computers.

    “We urge the District Attorney Seth Williams to respond to this matter with the utmost urgency,” Philadelphia NOW said in a statement released today.

    It was last Wednesday that court filings were unsealed showing Frank Fina and Marc Costanzo, now working in the Philly DA’s office, were involved in digital porn and at least one racially offensive image when they worked at the state Attorney General’s office several years ago.

    A number of state officials lost their jobs last year when it was discovered they’d been involved in the email porn exchanges, and another was apparently forced to resign last week.

    The Harrisburg Patriot News reported Sunday that Anthony Fiore, a deputy state inspector general had to resign after his name came up in the latest email release. Fiore told the paper he had no recollection of the four emails he apparently received of between 2009 and 2011, the paper reported there’s nothing to indicate whether he opened them or whether they were directed to his inbox or spam folder.

    One sent by Fina, referred to motivational tools for employees, and had attachments depicting women in various sex acts.

    Philadelphia NOW President Nina Ahmad said such conduct is inexcusable, especially for law enforcement officials, “people who have sworn to uphold the law and do this work, people who are supposed to make us feel safe. This is where people go when they’ve been violated, and this is a violation all over again.”

    Ahmad declined to say whether she thought Williams should fire the two prosecutors.

    “I can’t speak for him,” Ahmad said. “I think he knows what needs to be done. I think he knows the message that needs to be sent, that has to be clear, concise, immediate.” Williams said in a statement Wednesday that the District Attorney’s office has clear human relations policies, and that it will conduct “a thorough review…of the email chains and any actions current office employees took in their distribution.”

    Spokesman Cameron Kline said that review is still ongoing. 

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.