Girlfriend of DA Seth Williams charged in tire slashings

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A woman identified in financial records as the girlfriend of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has been charged with slashing the tires of two vehicles outside his home.

Philadelphia police said Stacey Cummings, 47, surrendered on Sunday.

She is charged with criminal mischief and possession of an instrument of crime.

Cummings was arraigned and released on her own recognizance.

The vandalism occurred back on November 11, 2015. That was when two tires on the passenger's side of both vehicles were flattened.
The vehicles, a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria and a 2010 Ford Escape, were assigned to the D.A.'s office, police said.

Sources say the investigation was initially handled by Williams' office. But, a source tells Action News, under city policy any vandalized city vehicle must be investigated by the Philadelphia police detective division that covers the area.

Sources say 12 days after the alleged incident, the D.A.'s office reported the crime to police and obtained an incident report so the city would pay for the $800 in damages. But, the office still handled the investigation in-house.

Then on August 10th, nine months after the alleged crime, sources say Cummings' attorney went to the D.A.'s office and said they had information about the crime.

It was referred to the Delaware County D.A.'s office and charges were quickly filed when, sources say, Cummings confessed.

She didn't go into detail about motive to investigators.

David Thornburgh is the CEO of the Committee of Seventy, a political watchdog group. He says the recent criminal case and Williams' recent disclosure that he failed to report $160,000 in gifts - including a new $45,000 roof - are troubling.

"Leaves you wondering. There's some blurring of the personal and professional in this instance that's a little troubling," he said.

In what may simply be a coincidence, Cummings' attorney went authorities on the same day Williams disclosed the $160,000 on amended financial statements.

"The question for the district attorney is how does taking $160,000 in gifts improve your ability to serve the people of Philadelphia?" said Thornburgh.

Neither Seth Williams, his spokesperson, nor his attorney have not had any comment about the vandalism investigation.

On Monday, Mayor Jim Kenney called the incident a distraction that he knew little about.
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