AP NEWS

The Latest: Union leader pleads not guilty to bribery, theft

February 1, 2019
FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2016 file photo John Dougherty, right, makes some brief comments to the media, in Philadelphia. The powerful union boss who has held a tight grip on construction jobs and politics in the Philadelphia region and beyond has been indicted in an FBI probe along with a city councilman and at least six others. Federal prosecutors say Dougherty used union funds as "his own personal bank account." Dougherty leads the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, along with the city's Building Trades Council. He has been at the helm of the century-old electricians union for 25 years. (Charles Fox/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on a Philadelphia union leader’s court appearance in an embezzlement and influence-peddling case (all times local):

2 p.m.

A powerful Philadelphia union leader has pleaded not guilty in a bribery and embezzlement case that reaches City Hall.

Johnny “Doc” Dougherty (DAHK’-ur-tee) has long been a major player in Pennsylvania politics after steering $30 million to mostly Democratic candidates in the past decade alone.

Dougherty is being released on $50,000 bail and must surrender his passport and have only work-related contact with witnesses.

The indictment filed this week says he and his inner circle misspent $600,000 in union funds.

Federal investigators say Dougherty kept ally Bobby Henon on the union payroll after his election to Philadelphia City Council in 2015, then had Henon pressure businesses to use union labor. Henon has also pleaded not guilty.

The indictment follows a two-year FBI investigation.

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11 a.m.

A powerful Philadelphia union leader is due in court in an embezzlement and influence-peddling case.

Johnny “Doc” Dougherty (DAHK’-ur-tee) has long been a major player in Pennsylvania politics. He’s steered tens of millions of dollars from the local electricians union to mostly Democratic candidates.

The indictment filed this week says he and his inner circle misspent $600,000 in union funds on home repairs, sports tickets, trips and other luxuries.

Federal investigators say Dougherty kept ally Bobby Henon on the union payroll after his election to Philadelphia City Council in 2015, then had Henon pressure businesses to use union labor. Henon has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Five others are also due in court Friday afternoon. Dougherty has denied wrongdoing throughout the two-year FBI probe.