Kelley Hodge has been selected to serve as Philadelphia's interim district attorney to replace Seth Williams who resigned following a guilty plea on one count related to bribery last month.
Hodge is a former city prosecutor and will serve as district attorney for the next five months to carry out the remainder of Williams’ term.
The decision was made by 88 judges of the Court of Common Pleas through an extensive election process. Hodge was chosen out of a pool of 13 applicants, one of them former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham who had offered to fill the position for free.
The other candidates included James F. Berardinelli, John P. Delaney, Curtis R. Douglas, Arlene D. Fisk, Joseph Jamil Khan, D. Webster Keogh, Benjamin Lerner, William J. Manfredi, Paul P. Panepinto, Robert A. Rovner and Leon Aristotle Williams.
Acting District Attorney Kathleen E. Martin initially applied to serve the remaining months but withdrew her bid Wednesday giving her support to Delaney who is a deputy district attorney who oversees the trial division.
In the end, Hodge received the majority of votes, making her the first African-American woman to act as Philadelphia district attorney. She says she has plans to restore integrity to the District Attorney’s office following the fallout from Williams’ bribery scandal.
In an interview with NBC10 Hodge said, “I find it’s a badge of honor to be in a position as a woman and an African-American woman and take the role of being the chief law enforcement officer in the City of Philadelphia. I don’t take that lightly and I’m very excited to serve all of the citizens of Philadelphia well.”
Hodge will hold the position until after the November elections when the newly elected district attorney is sworn in.