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Convicted Philly labor leader resigning union, council posts

November 16, 2021 GMT

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A prominent Philadelphia labor leader convicted in a federal public corruption case is resigning from his posts atop the city’s electricians’ union and an umbrella council of building trades unions.

John Dougherty resigned as business manager of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the union said Tuesday, ending his nearly three-decade tenure at its helm. He plans to resign as business manager of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“Based on what occurred yesterday, I thought it was the right thing to protect the integrity of the union,” Dougherty told the Inquirer.

Dougherty has been a major force in Pennsylvania politics, steering millions in union campaign contributions to candidates for political office, including his brother, who was elected as a state Supreme Court justice in 2015.

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Dougherty — known widely by his nickname “Johnny Doc” — said he announced his decision to IBEW’s executive board hours after Monday’s verdict. Dougherty said he plans to resign in the coming days from his position at the building trades council, which he has led since 2015, the Inquirer reported.

Dougherty was convicted of eight counts, including conspiracy and honest services wire fraud. Prosecutors said Dougherty gave Bobby Henon, a union electrician-turned-Philadelphia City Council member, a union-paid no-show job to ensure Henon did the union’s bidding.

Dougherty’s lawyers contended that he exerted no undue influence and that the city allows council members to hold outside jobs.