"I know for a fact, Seth would love it you could attend and support his event next week," Gonzalez wrote in her email.
That looks like macing — pressuring public employees for campaign money — according to Sam Stretton, an attorney for Williams’ campaign.
Gonzalez and Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the D.A., said that Williams did not know about or approve the email before it was sent. The email was first reported by the Legal Intelligencer Tuesday.
"You can’t go and put subtle pressure on staff to contribute. That’s illegal," Stretton said Tuesday. "I just think Seth has to realize that he’s in the big time. He has to get his campaign staff a little better organized."
Gonzalez took the blame, saying that Williams set her straight.
"I was hoping that we would get responses and I would surprise him with some of his chiefs and deputies being there," she said. "From here on out, I’m not to send any campaign-related material to anybody [with a District Attorney’s Office email]."
Gonzalez said that she hasn’t seen "a whole lot of staff support" at campaign fundraisers, lamenting as "sad" the fact that her email was leaked to the media.
The fundraiser invitation says that it is black-tie optional, adding:
"Ladies, dress like a star and put on your sexiest shoes. Gentlemen, dress to impress!"
Jamerson said that First Assistant District Attorney Ed McCann, who received the email, "immediately identified that it was not appropriate" and alerted the staff that they were not obligated to attend the fundraiser.
Contact Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBrennanDN and read his blog, PhillyClout.com.