Powerful Union boss and Philadelphia political powerbroker John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty was federally charged today with embezzlement, bribery, theft and other charges. Philadelphia City Council Majority Leader Bobby Henon and six others associated with IBEW Local 98 are included in the 116-count indictment.
The indictment alleges that the defendants misspent more than $600,000 in union funds for a variety of personal uses.
Dougherty has led Local 98 and the City’s Building Trades Council becoming one of the most influential political figures in the city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania. He is credited with playing a part in electing Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, his own brother, Kevin Dougherty to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, and other Democratic officials.
“The allegations in today’s indictment show that contrary to the public face, John Dougherty himself is not pro-union and does not honestly represent the interests of all of 98’s membership,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Harpster.
Kenney was asked about the news by reporters this morning in Philadelphia before the press conference stating that no one in his administration was implicated in the probe. Kenney also would not call for Henon to resign, but said that was a decision he had to make himself.
The indictment alleges that Henon used his position with Philadelphia City Council to advance the causes of Dougherty and not the citizens of his district.
“In essence, the indictment alleges that Henon abdicated his duty to provide honest services to the citizens of Philadelphia because he made decisions on behalf of John Dougherty, rather than the people who elected him to City Council,” said Jennifer Arbittier Williams, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Dougherty and Henon have denied wrongdoing.
In a Facebook post, Henon said that he has done nothing wrong and has represented his district “with the goal of serving working people” and does not have intentions of resigning.
“I want to make clear: I have done nothing wrong,” Henon said. “I will continue to serve, I look forward to clearing my name and I will never waiver in my pursuit to protect and serve the working people who live in and built this city.”
Williams said at the press conference that she is not calling for Dougherty, Henon and others to resign from their posts, but if the defendants are convicted of all charges they “face decades in prison.”
Dougherty is being represented by Hank Hockeimer and David Axelrod. Henon is being represented by Brian McMonagle.
All eight defendants are scheduled to make their first appearance in federal court at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
The full indictment is provided in PDF form here courtesy of WHYY’s Ryan Briggs.