Earlier this year former Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was cleared of charges filed against him after a bar fight that ended in the injury of two police officers. Now it is being reported that the Philly prosecutor who let the player off the hook has been a recipient of free sideline game passes for years.
A new report at Sporting News finds that Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, whose office absolved McCoy, has been the lucky recipient of two sidelines passes each year since 2011.
The discovery was made by a Philly newspaper after Williams filed an amended financial disclosure form that suddenly reported the receipt of the tickets.
LeSean McCoy was charged after a bar fight early in February. The player and his party and the police officers and their party reportedly began arguing over a bottle of champagne both were claiming. According to an AP report at the time, police said a 40-year-old officer was knocked to the ground, where he was punched, kicked, and stomped multiple times on his body and head.
One of the victims suffered a broken nose, broken ribs, sprains and bruises and the second was hospitalized with a possible skull fracture.
But by April the Philly DA’s office had cleared McCoy, spurring heavy complaints by the city’s police union.
After McCoy was cleared, Philly Fraternal Order of Police President John J. McNesby bitterly complained, saying, “Apparently, assaults recorded on video are prosecuted everywhere except in Philadelphia, particularly when the victims are police officers.”
With the new details of the prosecutor’s years-long receipt of the free game tickets the team was quick to note that free tickets were also doled out to the mayor, and the fire and police commissioners. A team spokesman characterized the offers of the passes as routine.
But the former chair of the city ethics board, Gregory Williams, insists it looks pretty bad. “It’s a total inability to understand the nature of conflicts of interest by a public official who has important responsibilities concerning conflicts of interest,” he said.
Pennsylvania has had a slew of public officials caught up in corruption investigations recently. In one case, the feds convicted Congressman Chakah Fattah on such corruption charges as racketeering, money laundering, and fraud. In addition, the state’s attorney general, Kathleen Kane, resigned her office after convictions on perjury and obstruction.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.