“Despite a few early steps toward justice reform that has reduced the city’s prison population, Williams fell short of his early promises of sweeping change. As his once promising career ends, there is a wide field of highly qualified candidates for one of the city’s most important elected offices.
For us, one in particular stands out: RICH NEGRIN.
Negrin spent his early career in the DA’s office as prosecutor. After a corporate law job, he spent a few thankless months overseeing the dissolution of the Board of Revision of Taxes, a post earned in part because of his reputation for independence and integrity. He also served on the Ethics Board and was Mayor Nutter’s managing director.
This administrative experience should serve as a big plus for the $52 million, 594-employee DA’s office. While administering the PhillyRising neighborhood improvement program, Negrin was known to show up in communities wielding a paint roller or helping to clean trash from vacant lots. This has given him a visceral understanding of neighborhoods – and how much people suffer in violent environments, adding a much needed dimension to the office.
The new district attorney will not only have to reestablish the credibility and authority of the office in light of the Williams scandal, but reaffirm the city’s priorities for criminal justice: to be aware of how the pendulum is swinging and still address the real problems of too many guns, drugs, and opioids, and too many elected officials succumbing to corruption. Negrin’s background as a board member of Ceasefire PA is encouraging on the gun front, especially his goal of going after gun shops that cater to straw buyers. His early experience in the DA’s office gives him insight into a troubled juvenile justice system. Negrin has a compelling personal story, having sworn his life to justice after witnessing, at 13, the assassination of his father, a Cuban community activist.”