Rochelle Bilal, Former Police Officer, Poised to Become Next Philadelphia Sheriff, Toppling Incumbent Jewell Williams

A two-term incumbent and cog in the city Democratic Party, Jewell Williams, was defeated amid a cloud of controversy.

Rochelle Bilal, a former cop and longtime civic leader within the Philadelphia police department, is poised to become the first woman elected city sheriff after beating two-term incumbent Jewell Williams.

She is set to become the next sheriff in January. There is no Republican candidate in the Nov. 5 general election.

The sheriff's office is responsible for courthouse security, prisoner transports, house auctions, and serving citizens with certain court documents, including evictions. Roughly 400 employees work for the office, which had a $26 million budget this year.

Williams, a former state representative and cog in the city's Democratic Party machine politics, has been embroiled in controversy during his second term over sexual harassment suits.

The City of Philadelphia paid out a $127,000 settlement earlier this year and the state legislature's Democratic caucus paid out $30,000 to settle a claim dating back to 2012 when Williams served as a state representative in Harrisburg.

Rochelle Bilal scored a major victory Tuesday, defeating incumbent Jewell Williams in Philadelphia’s sheriff’s race. Williams had been dealing with sexual harassment allegations.

Bilal served as head of the Guardian Civic League during her 27 years as a police officer. The league is an organization that represents black officers.

"In my administration, we are not going to have that," Bilal told NBC Philadelphia in an interview in April of the allegations that have dogged Williams. "I have no tolerance for harassment, against women or men."

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