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Shaun King, PA District Attorney Libeled Opponent And Violated Campaign Finance Law, Lawsuit Alleges

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s campaign and left-wing activist Shaun King teamed up to libel Krasner’s primary opponent and violate campaign finance laws, a new lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit, filed by Krasner’s Democratic primary opponent Carlos Vega, alleges that Krasner’s campaign and King “conspired … to line the pockets of defendant Shaun King, his Real Justice PAC, and the Krasner campaign” through a combination of campaign finance violations and defamation.

Krasner defeated Vega 65% to 35% in the primary for Philadelphia District Attorney on May 18, despite a murder spike and heavy opposition from Philadelphia police officers. (RELATED: Philadelphia Police Union Offers Mr. Softee’s Ice Cream Outside ‘Soft On Crime’ District Attorney’s Office)

Vega, a former homicide prosecutor, was fired by Krasner shortly after Krasner’s election in 2018. The lawsuit alleges that King lied about the circumstances of Vega’s firing, claiming that Vega “wrongfully convicted Tony Wright for rape and murder in 1993” and that Krasner fired Vega for corruption.

Vega’s suit argues he was not involved in Wright’s 1993 trial, when Wright was originally convicted and sentenced, although he did prosecute the 2016 retrial in which Wright was released.

The lawsuit, first reported on by Big Trial, further alleges that Krasner misrepresented an order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to “falsely impl[y] a cause and effect relationship between Mr. Vega’s involvement in the 2016 Wright retrial and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to grant defendant DeJesus a new penalty hearing.”

Krasner was ordered to pay $15,000 in 2019 in fines and restitution for campaign finance violations he committed with Real Justice PAC, which King co-founded, during the 2017 DA election. Real Justice PAC paid $8,000.

Vega’s lawsuit alleges that the violations continued in the 2021 election. Real Justice PAC employed Krasner’s campaign manager Brandon Evans as its Political Director during the campaign, FEC records and the Real Justice PAC website show. The Krasner campaign also paid Real Justice PAC $84,000 between 2019 and 2020, records show.

Vega is demanding a jury trial.