A.D.A. who resigned snooped on fellow prosecutor, sources say

Posted: June 30, 2011

A veteran Philadelphia homicide prosecutor who was forced to resign last week was asked to leave because she accessed the expunged arrest record of a young prosecutor whom District Attorney Seth Williams personally hired in October.

Sources told the Daily News that MK Feeney, who worked in the D.A.'s Office for 15 years, abruptly resigned last Thursday after digging up information about Kevin Harden Jr., a 25-year-old assistant district attorney who was arrested several times as a youth.

And in yet another example of the ongoing shake-up of the D.A.'s Office, veteran homicide prosecutor Leon Goodman, an office ally of Feeney's, has been demoted to the insurance-fraud unit, sources confirmed.

Tasha Jamerson, Williams' spokeswoman, confirmed Feeney's resignation, but would not comment on Goodman. Goodman, who on Friday afternoon won a life-sentence verdict for a convicted murderer, also declined to comment.

Harden has been arrested a handful of times, mostly for drug offenses, sources said, and survived being shot five times in 2006. He has never been convicted of a crime, however, sources said.

His record has been expunged, meaning there is no public record of any arrests. The D.A.'s Office, however, maintains all arrest records via the city's Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System, which Feeney accessed.

Attempts to reach Williams for comment were not successful. Harden declined to be interviewed earlier this month.

Since being hired in October at a salary of $48,975, Harden has handled misdemeanor trials and felony preliminary hearings.

One colleague said that Harden had overcome a rough past scarred by drugs to become a good lawyer and an asset to the D.A.'s Office.

"Kevin's story is the best story of redemption that I have ever heard," said Center City lawyer Lloyd Long, of Fitzpatrick & Long. "America is the land of redemption. If not in America, where?" He added that Harden never hid his past when he interned at the firm.

Another prosecutor exuded a mixture of contempt and worry that Harden had been brought into the fold.

"In the courtroom he is good - a superstar," the prosecutor said. "I have no doubt about his legal ability. . . . But where do you draw the line?

"A district attorney is supposed to be above reproach. . . . So, how does it look when you have a D.A. talking about not snitching?"

In 2007, the then-college student discussed on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" that he believed that not snitching made pretty good sense in Philadelphia.

"Look, it's just a realistic thing, like I didn't go to court when I got shot," Harden said, according to a transcript of the show, which aired Oct. 11, 2007.

"The cops can't take care of me. I snitch on that man, and somebody come after my family. Then everybody going to be dead. The streets can handle themselves. Survival of the fittest."

Feeney's resignation and Goodman's transfer are the latest signs of unrest at a D.A.'s Office that earlier this month saw the exit of its second-in-command, First Assistant D.A. Joseph McGettigan, amid reports that he and Williams were not getting along. The official reason for his departure was to take an extended medical leave, Jamerson said.

In May, the Daily News reported that Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Mitrick was removed from prosecuting two men accused of attempting to murder an alleged drug dealer after it was discovered that she began dating the victim following the trial of the first of the two defendants.

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