Councilmember Bobby Henon has given up his committee chair roles following his conviction on corruption charges
Henon is not legally required to resign from Council until his sentencing, which is scheduled for February, and he has resisted calls to leave office before then.
City Councilmember Bobby Henon on Wednesday stepped down from his committee leadership roles following his conviction this week on federal corruption charges, according to a memo from Council President Darrell L. Clarke obtained by The Inquirer.
Henon, who was convicted Monday of bribery and honest services fraud along with electricians union leader John Dougherty, is not legally required to resign from Council until his sentencing, which is scheduled for February, and he has resisted calls to leave office before then.
But Henon wrote a letter to Clarke on Wednesday saying he would give up his committee positions, which allow him to hold hearings and control the flow of legislation, according to the memo. KYW Newsradio was the first to report that Henon has stepped down from his committee leadership positions.
Henon was chair of the Public Property and Public Works Committee as well as the Licenses and Inspections Committee. He was also vice chair of the Finance Committee and Public Health and Human Services Committee.
Henon’s role on the public property panel drew scrutiny from prosecutors, who alleged that he held a public hearing in 2016 to embarrass Verizon at the request of the Communications Workers of America in exchange for campaign donations. Prosecutors said the donations were really bribes.
The jury found Henon guilty of two charges related to the Verizon ordeal but acquitted him on four others.
Henon was also accused of using his role atop the Public Works Committee to force Comcast to negotiate directly with Dougherty when the company was seeking to review its cable franchise agreement. In wiretapped phone calls played for jurors, Dougherty made it clear to Henon what he expected: “That is why you are over there ... for one reason — to put you on public property to fight a giant,” Dougherty said in the recording. The jury convicted both men on charges related to Comcast.
Prosecutors also alleged that Henon weaponized the Department of Licenses and Inspections, which the committee oversees, against a contractor at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia at the request of Dougherty. The jury acquitted the men on one charge related to that episode but convicted them on another that was tied to L&I issuing a stop-work order on the CHOP project.
Clarke wrote in his memo that he will consult with Majority Leader Cherelle Parker before naming replacements. The Council website on Wednesday night listed the chairs for those committees as “TBD.”
Staff writer Jeremy Roebuck contributed to this article.