All you need to know about the Bobby Henon and Johnny Doc convictions
Labor leader John Dougherty and Councilmember Bobby Henon have been found guilty on a slew of corruption charges. Here's what to know.
A years-long federal investigation into powerful Philadelphia labor leader John Dougherty and three-term Councilmember Bobby Henon ended with guilty verdicts for both men on most charges in their bribery trial.
Dougherty, widely known as Johnny Doc, helped steer the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 into a 4,700 member tour de force capable of helping elect officials at City Hall, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Harrisburg, and Congress through its fundraising and manpower.
Prosecutors argued to a federal jury that Dougherty bought himself a city councilman through Bobby Henon, who benefitted from union support in his own election.
Prosecutors argued Dougherty controlled Henon through a $70,000 a year salary for a no-show Local 98 job. In exchange, prosecutors said Henon would use his power in City Hall to bully Dougherty’s enemies and do his bidding. Dougherty’s legal team has maintained the pair were simply pro-union.
» READ MORE: John Dougherty and Bobby Henon found guilty at federal bribery trial, upending city politics and organized labor
Catch up on the case and our coverage below.
Where the federal jury landed and why
Dougherty was convicted on eight counts and acquitted on three, while Henon was convicted on 10 counts and acquitted on eight. The most serious charge they were convicted of comes with a maximum 20 years in prison.
One of the jurors called the trial “a real lesson in Philadelphia civics and how Philadelphia government works.”
» READ MORE: A full breakdown of how the jury decided on each count
» READ MORE: Juror in Dougherty-Henon trial says it was a lesson in Philly government — ‘and it was appalling’
Sentencing and appeals
Sentencing hearings for both men are scheduled for the end of February, though Dougherty has promised to appeal.
» READ MORE: Sentencing, appeals, and what's next for Dougherty and Henon
The word around City Hall
Despite his conviction, Henon doesn’t legally have to resign from his post on City Council until sentencing. His current plans are unclear.
Henon’s staff told the councilmember’s constituents on Monday that his office would continue to provide services and would share “additional information about a transition process” as it arrives.
Mayor Jim Kenney defended Dougherty and Henon on Tuesday, and opted not to weigh in on whether Henon should resign now or wait until his February sentencing. Others in Philadelphia’s political community have also avoided offering an opinion, with the exception of Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez who has called on Henon to resign since 2019.
» READ MORE: What Philly politicians said, and didn't say, following the convictions
» READ MORE: Kenney defends John Dougherty and Bobby Henon
Doc resigns as head of Local 98
Dougherty told the Inquirer he made the call to Local 98′s executive board hours after his conviction.
Dougherty said his resignation was “the right thing to protect the integrity of the union” and added he intends to step down as the leader of the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council in the coming days.
According to federal law, a bribery conviction is one of the crimes that bars anyone from holding union office for 13 years or the duration of the person’s prison sentence, whichever is longer.
» READ MORE: Doc's resignation, his successor, and more
Implications for unions and the larger labor movement
Labor leaders don’t predict a “cataclysmic shift” in Local 98′s operations because Dougherty had already been grooming successors before his conviction.
Still, the conviction reinforces negative stereotypes about unions at a time the labor movement has made gains in public support.
» READ MORE: What Dougherty's conviction means for Local 98 and the labor movement
Doc’s upcoming trials
Dougherty’s legal challenges are far from over. Dougherty still faces charges of conspiracy, theft, and falsification of union financial records, as he and five union associates are accused of embezzling $600,000 from Local 98. Prosecutors allege that Dougherty used the funds for things such as home repairs and takeout meals from the Palm for his family.
That trial date remains to be scheduled.
Dougherty is also facing 19 counts of conspiracy and extortion for threatening a contractor who docked his nephew Greg Fiocca’s pay when Fiocca allegedly failed to show up to work.
Keel has said Dougherty plans to go to trial and fight the charges.
Dougherty is also being sued by the Department of Labor for allegedly threatening potential challengers in union elections. The feds are looking for Local 98 to redo its elections.
» READ MORE: John Dougherty's remaining legal woes