ADA Supports the Removal of Three Assistant District Attorneys

Americans for Democratic Action of Southeastern PA joins the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women, all the City Councilwomen of Philadelphia, and many progressive civic organizations in demanding the ouster of Assistant District Attorneys Patrick Blessington, Marc Costanzo, and Frank Fina.

While employed by the state and before they were hired by the Philadelphia District Attorney, Blessington, Costanzo, and Fina exchanged e-mails — racist, misogynistic, and homophobic – among themselves and others, including judges. By engaging in this activity, they manifested contempt for well over half the citizens they were appointed to serve impartially.

We believe it is clear that they should not continue to serve citizens they hold in such disdain. Their conduct in sending these e-mails has brought the entire criminal justice system into question, and raises concern about their judgment in all aspects of their work. Can African Americans, members of the LGBT community, and women, whether they are victims or possible criminal actors, feel secure that their matters will be investigated fairly and impartially? We think not.

The criminal justice system must be above reproach. The public must have absolute assurance that the system acts with probity and integrity. District Attorney Seth Williams was elected to serve all of the people. He has the power, and the responsibility, to mitigate this problem. He should immediately demand the resignations of Fina, Costanzo and Blessington.

Very truly yours,

Glenavie Norton, Chair
Americans for Democratic Action
Southeastern Pennsylvania