Kelley Hodge sworn in as interim Philadelphia District Attorney

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Kelley Hodge sworn in as interim Philadelphia District Attorney. Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on July 24, 2017. (WPVI)

Kelley Hodge has been sworn in as Philadelphia's interim district attorney.

The 45-year-old former assistant D.A. became the 25th District Attorney. She was chosen by the Court of Common Pleas Board of Judges.

There were 14 candidates trying to get the nod to succeed Seth Williams, who is now in federal custody awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to corruption last month.

Hodge's husband, son, and her parents were beaming with pride when she was sworn in inside a packed City Hall courtroom.

"Thank you for having the confidence in me to lead this office, an office that I have profound admiration and respect for," she said during the ceremony on Monday.

"The Board of Judges have entrusted me with a responsibility that requires diligence, intelligence, patience and most of all humility, and I can assure you that I will work every day, as I have for my 20 years as an attorney and advocate, to deliver just that to the citizens of Philadelphia."

Many in the D.A.'s office were also in attendance.

"For the time I have to lead this office, I will promote and encourage the honor, integrity, and professionalism that is expected and exists in each of you," Hodge said.

Hodge made her own history. She is the city's first black female D.A. Her former colleagues came out in big numbers to hail her elevation, even though it is only temporary.

She will be serving out the remainder of Williams' second term which ends early in the new year.

She is highly respected by her former colleagues.

"She's measured. She's calm. She's thoughtful. She's a leader. She's inspiring. I could not be happier with the Board of Judges' choice," Shea Rhodes of Villanova Law School said.

District Attorney Hodge will only hold the top office for about five and half months, but she tells Action News she plans to be far more than a caretaker.

"No specific agenda yet. I want to talk to the D.A.s first and find out what their thoughts and needs are and how things have been progressing, so it would be premature of me to presume I know when this is day one and I have yet to speak with them," Hodge said.

There is already political pressure building on the two candidates for district attorney to name Hodge as their first assistant. But the election is not until November.

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