Johnny Doc Finally Comments on His FBI Raid Outfit

John Dougherty, in his trademark outfit

IBEW Local 98 business manager John Dougherty wore a white button-front shirt, shorts and a Philadelphia sports hat for the announcement of the NFL Draft location today (right) — and the FBI raid of his home on August 5th. | Photos: Bobby Allyn, Newsworks/WHYY (left); Dan McQuade (right)

When John Dougherty was raided by the FBI on August 5th, many reporters took note of the outfit he wore: white button-down shirt, khaki shorts, Sixers hat. Your humble correspondent wrote a guide to dressing like Johnny Doc for your Halloween costume or everyday errands or whatever.

Dougherty, the business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, was at the city’s announcement today that the NFL Draft would be held in Philadelphia next year. Ron Jaworski thanked him personally from the podium, saying the NFL Draft would not be held in Philadelphia if it weren’t for Johnny Doc. (Mayor Jim Kenney, for the record, said it was thanks to the hard work of a private/public partnership.) Read more »

Report: Feds Seek Kenney’s Campaign PAC Records

Jim Kenney is inaugurated as the city's 99th mayor Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. The 57-year-old Kenney succeeds Michael Nutter, who leaves office after two terms. Kenney served on city council for more than two decades before he was elected in November. Kenney is accompanied by his children Nora and Brendan and was sworn in by Judge Kevin Dougherty. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

This afternoon, Philadelphia magazine’s Jared Brey wrote that Mayor Jim Kenney’s alliance with electricians union leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty is looking worse and worse in light of the FBI investigation of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98.

In a matter of hours, things managed to go further south for Kenney.

NewsWorks’ Dave Davies broke the news that federal agents have requested documents from Kenney’s campaign committee. Read more »

Kenney’s Alliance With Johnny Doc Looks Worse By the Day


Photos by Jeff Fusco

I had a nice little chuckle the other day when I was reading the latest installment in a growing series of Inquirer stories about FBI investigations involving local union leaders, politicians and appointees.

The story revealed that Joseph Ralston, an agent in the state Attorney General’s office, appeared to be the focus (or one of the focuses) of the federal investigation that’s been circling around International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, the union headed by John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty. It’s been just three weeks since the FBI initially raided Doc’s house, Local 98’s headquarters, and the offices of City Councilman Bobby Henon, who is on the union’s payroll. There have been new revelations about just how wide the FBI’s target is nearly every day since then.

“The pace of the investigation remains quick.”

That was the line that made me laugh. It’s a sober comment. Very newspaper. And funny, because it translated automatically in my mind to We’re not entirely sure where the hell this thing is going, but we’re keeping up the best we can.

But I’m sure Mayor Jim Kenney wasn’t laughing. And I’m sure he wasn’t laughing last night either, when another Inquirer story revealed that Jim Moylan — Kenney’s appointee to the hugely powerful Zoning Board of Adjustment, and Johnny Doc’s friend and chiropractor — is also someone the feds are interested in. Read more »

20 Days of Silence: Bobby Henon Still Won’t Talk About the FBI Raids


Photo via City Council Flickr

Twenty days ago, the offices of Council Majority Leader Bobby Henon — as well as the home of his powerful ally John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty — were raided by the FBI. The Inquirer reported last night that sources familiar with a search warrant say the FBI is seeking Henon’s communications with an employee in the Attorney General’s office, among other things. The newspaper also wrote that federal agents had raided two more “union-related locations” in South Philadelphia on Wednesday.

One line in the article stuck out to us: “Henon’s office said he would have no comment on the latest raid.” Read more »

Philly’s Deviant Political Culture, Explained

Illustration by gluekit; dougherty and boxes: Charles Fox | The Philadelphia Inquirer | Associated Press; City Hall: C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

Illustration by gluekit; Dougherty, Charles Fox | The Philadelphia Inquirer | Associated Press; City Hall: C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

Because this is 2016 and I’m a journalist, I was on Twitter when I first saw the news that FBI agents were raiding Johnny Doc’s home. This was around 8:30 a.m., so I’d already had several cups of coffee, but even so, this obviously momentous development barely registered. “Huh,” I thought, and kept right on scrolling to the next hot Trump take, the next wry 140-character blast about SEPTA or improvised dumpster pools, which apparently are now a thing.

I felt a little guilty about that later. This is John Dougherty we’re talking about. Kingmaker, yes, but also judge-maker, Council-maker, deal-maker. The longtime union honcho is probably the most powerful political figure in Philadelphia, and the feds had just packed an iMac and a couple of metric tons of files from his Local 98 electricians union into a moving truck. True, he hasn’t been charged with anything, and he may never be — the feds have investigated Doc before without finding anything that would stick. But this was big news, nonetheless. And I yawned.  Read more »

Johnny Doc’s Union Paid Frank Keel $87,000 Last Year

L: Frank Keel (Photo via Keel's Facebook) R: John Dougherty (Photo by HughE Dillon)

L: Frank Keel (Photo via Keel’s Facebook) R: John Dougherty (Photo by HughE Dillon)

It has been a while since we went through the finances of Philadelphia’s electrical union, IBEW Local 98. But in light of the federal investigation swirling around union leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, whose home and union hall were searched last week, we thought it would be fun to take another look. Read more »

Why the Johnny Doc Investigation Could Slow Kenney’s Momentum

L to R: Jim Kenney and John Dougherty | Photos by Jeff Fusco

L to R: Jim Kenney and John Dougherty. | Photos by Jeff Fusco

It’s just one short line credited to an anonymous source, but it’s got to be a nightmare for Mayor Jim Kenney.

In a story last week about the FBI’s raids of properties connected to IBEW Local 98 leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, the Inquirer wrote, “A person familiar with the investigation said it focused on the union’s finances and its involvement in the political campaigns of Mayor Kenney and state Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty, who is Dougherty’s brother.” Read more »

What the Johnny Doc Raids Mean for Philly Politics

Dougherty photo by Jeff Fusco

Dougherty photo by Jeff Fusco

I started thinking about Back to the Future Part II the other day.

Remember when Marty went back — again — to 1955, and experienced a mind-boggling wave of déjà vu as he watched himself make awkward small talk with his own mother in the front seat of Doc Brown’s cream-colored Packard before the “Enchantment Under the Sea” dance?

It was a weird moment, at once both familiar and unsettling. That scene reminded me of the back-to-back “Stop the presses!” stories that we saw late last week: Joey Merlino, the face of the Philly mob of yesteryear, was arrested on federal racketeering charges on Thursday, and then on Friday the feds conducted highly visible raids on numerous properties connected to the city’s ultimate union mover and shaker, IBEW Local 98 leader  John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty. Read more »

Now Johnny Doc’s Union Is Being Investigated by the Attorney General, Too


IBEW Local 98 business manager John Dougherty. | Photo by Jeff Fusco

After federal and state authorities raided several properties connected to longtime power broker and IBEW Local 98 business manager John Dougherty Friday, the Inquirer reported on Sunday that Dougherty and the union are also facing a separate investigation by the state Attorney General’s office. Read more »

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