CASE UPDATE: Former Bedford District Attorney William Higgins Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges

May 30, 2018 | Topic: Criminal

Ex-DA Accused of Protecting Drug Dealers from Prosecution, Revealing Identities of Confidential Informants, and Offering Favorable Treatment to Women with Whom He Was Having Sex

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that the former Bedford County District Attorney, who resigned last month following his arrest, pled guilty today to charges arising from a political corruption investigation begun by the Pennsylvania State Police and prosecuted by the Office of Attorney General.

William Higgins, 43, was charged last month for protecting drug dealers from criminal prosecution, revealing the identities of confidential informants to persons under investigation by law enforcement and offering favorable treatment to women with whom he was having sex. He pleaded guilty to 11 counts of obstructing administration of law or other governmental function, two counts of official oppression, three counts of recklessly endangering another person, nine counts of intimidation of witnesses or victims and six counts of hindering apprehension or prosecution. Per Pennsylvania law, Higgins will lose his law license and his pension.

“Former District Attorney Higgins traded his power and law enforcement authority for sexual favors and he violated his oath to the people of Bedford County – compromising the security of his community and the safety of confidential informants,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “As Attorney General, I will not allow any person in power to abuse their public office. I am focused on rooting out public corruption and will continue to prosecute anyone who breaks the law – without fear and without favor.”

Attorney General Shapiro has been aggressively pursuing public corruption cases across Pennsylvania. Last year he brought similar charges against Mercer County District Attorney Miles Karson for hindering the apprehension and prosecution of a paramour. In February, his office also filed charges against Westmoreland County Sherriff Jonathan Held for directing sheriff’s officers to seek and collect political contributions for his re-election campaign while on active duty.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Tomm Mutschler.

*Click here for a link to the video of AG Shapiro.

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