FBI seeks Kenney campaign records as part of union probe

Records have been requested from Mayor Kenney's campaign committee in an investigation into the Electricians union and its leader John Dougherty.

Federal authorities have subpoenaed finance records and receipts from Mayor Kenney's campaign committee as part of their investigation into the local electricians union and its leader, John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty, the mayor said Friday.

In an interview, Kenney said that the committee intended to comply with the request, received earlier this month. He said he had no reason to suspect that he or any member of his campaign or administration was a target of the probe.

"I think the federal government is doing their job, and we're going to accommodate their requests for information every step of the way," he said. "What will come out will come out."

The subpoena came, the mayor said, shortly after a series of coordinated FBI raids earlier this month on the hall of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and several houses and offices tied to Dougherty and his close allies, including City Councilman Bobby Henon, a former political director for the union who remains on its payroll.

In each instance, the warrants sought evidence of possible crimes, including embezzlement of union funds, intimidation of contractors, and extortion by an unnamed government official.

Sources familiar with the investigation have said the investigation is also focused on the union's substantial financial support of political candidates, including its giving to the campaigns of Kenney and state Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty, who is Dougherty's brother.

Kenney said Friday that agents had not approached him or any member of his administration as far as he was aware. He has not retained a lawyer independent from the one representing his campaign committee, he said.

Asked specifically what the subpoena had requested, Kenney said that he had not personally seen it but was told by the campaign's lawyer that it was focused on campaign finance filings and receipts, many of which were already publicly available online.

Jessie Bradley, a political adviser to the campaign, declined to discuss the specifics of the request, saying that the subpoena advised the campaign not to publicly discuss the material it requested.

Dougherty has led the union since 1993, helping to build it into a major statewide political force through donations and its expansive get-out-the-vote efforts on behalf of favored candidates.

As one of the city's most powerful Democrats, Dougherty played a key role in last year's elections, helping put Kenney in the mayor's office and Kevin Dougherty on the Supreme Court.

Kenney's campaign raised $2.6 million for last year's primary and general elections, with Local 98 and its various political action committees as one of its biggest contributors.

Also Friday, sources close to the investigation confirmed that FBI agents had searched the South Philadelphia home of Michael Mazzucca, 55, a plumber and a Democratic committee member from the First Ward, earlier this week.

Dougherty served as leader of the ward until earlier this year, when he stepped down, saying he intended to be less politically active.

Mazzucca, who did not respond to requests for comment Friday, was a repeated contributor to a political action committee that was also heavily supported by Local 98.

The search conducted at his home was one of several this week, including those conducted at the state attorney general's Philadelphia office seeking information on Joseph Ralston, a narcotics investigator. Agents on Tuesday also raided the Pennsport home and offices of James Moylan, Kenney's appointee to lead the Zoning Board of Adjustment, which plays a vital role in shaping city development.

Kenney on Friday defended his selection of Moylan, who is Dougherty's chiropractor and previously worked as a political consultant for Local 98.

"I don't know about the warrants," the mayor said. Moylan "was selected because he had a long-standing reputation as a civic leader within the community. . . . He seemed to be appropriate."

Dougherty has denied any wrongdoing related to the matters at the heart of the federal probe and vowed to fight off what he has characterized as the FBI's "comprehensive attack on multiple aspects of Local 98."

jroebuck@phillynews.com

215-854-2608 @jeremyrroebuck