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

And other gleanings from IBEW Local 98's financial report.

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.

Fortunately, the United States government makes this easier than you’d think, requiring unions to file annual financial reports with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. We downloaded the most recent report, which details 2015 expenditures, and embedded the full document below.

Here’s some of what we learned:

Frank Keel Made Out OK: Any time that Johnny Doc has a problem that requires him to deal with the media, he calls on North Wales resident Frank Keel for help. Keel is a colorful character with an equally colorful history in the Philadelphia power structure (his 2015 lawsuit against political operative David Axelrod is a must-read), and he’s not exactly making chump change for his work with Local 98. According to the report, the union forked over $87,000 to Keel in 2015 over a series of 15 payments. (Doc parted ways with Keel earlier this year, but the two were working together again as of last week’s raids.)

The Union Likes a Football Game: In 2015, the union spent $55,255 on the Phillies and $10,140 on the Flyers, but they spent the most on the Philadelphia Eagles, racking up $112,186 in expenditures. They also went to some Pittsburgh Steelers games, showing $23,881 in payments to the team in 2015.

How Come We Didn’t Get a Gift Card?: The union purchased $5,000 in gift cards to Starr restaurants for “business development.” A $50 gift card to El Vez is nice and all, but in the long run, we’d rather be the recipient of the $11,803 in “holiday gifts” that the union purchased at the Rittenhouse Square Coach Store.

Since When Are Massages “General Overhead”?: The “General Overhead” section of the report includes things like Comcast cable, AT&T phone bills, and basic utilities like gas and electric. But then there is the $23,805 spent on massage therapy. Oh, and $7,071 was paid to beer distributor Franklin Beverage in Fairmount. Life is good at Local 98.

We Would’ve Picked Hershey: We always hear about how Local 98 takes care of its own. So why did the union choose the worst amusement park possible for its member picnic? The report indicates that Local 98 spent more than $73,000 on a picnic for its members at Clementon Park.

Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.