Details of a long-running federal investigation into the region’s largest electrical union and its influential leader were disclosed at a press conference Wednesday, with the announcement of charges against eight people.
John J. “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon and six others affiliated with Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have been charged with embezzlement, bribery, and theft, federal officials announced at the U.S. Attorney’s Chestnut Street office.
A 116-count indictment released Wednesday alleges that Dougherty spent more than $600,000 in union funds on personal items like TVs and a home security system and used his influence over Henon, who has a paid position within the union.
The indictments came more than two years after the FBI and IRS raided union sites, homes, and offices tied to those involved with Local 98.
“Henon abdicated his duty to provide honest services to the city of Philadelphia because he made decisions on behalf of John Dougherty, rather than the people that elected him to City Council,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said during the press conference.
The disclosures of the investigation’s findings began Monday, when criminal charges were announced against New Jersey electrical contractor George Peltz, owner of MJK Electrical Corp. Peltz pleaded guilty to tax evasion, failing to pay payroll taxes, theft from employee benefit funds, and making unlawful payments to a union official.
Additionally, prosecutors on Tuesday charged James E. Moylan, Dougherty’s chiropractor and former head of the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment, with stealing from the union’s charitable arm as well as a nonprofit he founded.
Local 98′s money and influence have helped mayors, councilmembers, commissioners, legislators, governors, and judges — including Dougherty’s brother, Kevin Dougherty — rise to power.