A recently unsealed federal indictment charges a Philadelphia councilman and others associated with an IBEW local with stealing from the local, including using union funds to buy everything from dog treats to baby wipes.
U. S. prosecutors charged John J. Dougherty, a leader of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon with theft, bribery and embezzlement. Prosecutors also charged six other people associated with Local 98.
The lengthy indictment, which includes 116 counts and was unsealed Jan. 31, says Dougherty stole from the union for years. He is alleged to have used union funds get employment for himself, his family and his friends. Some of the theft involved construction repairs or upgrades done on his private property and billed to the union as work being done on union property.
The indictment is the culmination of a more than two-year-old investigation. In Aug. 2016, the FBI raided homes and offices in Philadelphia and New Jersey, including properties owned by Dougherty and Henon, who is also a paid union member. Those properties included a bar owned by Dougherty, his home in South Philadelphia, his sister’s home next door, the Local 98 hall and the home of union president Brian Burrows.
Bank records, invoices, credit card records, tax forms, and computer hardware were seized in the searches.
A request to the Local 98 hall for comment from Burrows and Dougherty was declined by the union leaders.
Prosecutors also charged James E. Moylan with stealing from the union’s charitable arm and from a nonprofit he founded. Moylan is Dougherty’s chiropractor and former head of Philadelphia’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Henon, in a statement, claimed to "have done nothing wrong. I have spent 28 years proudly working for Local 98. In 2011, I ran for City Council to give a voice to honest union men and women, working Philadelphians and those in need of a strong voice to represent them in this great city.
“Since that time, every action I have taken as City Council member has been with the goal of serving working people...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.”