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

John Dougherty's home and IBEW Local 98's union hall were raided by the FBI Friday. Now a state investigation of the union is reportedly also underway.


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.

According to an anonymous source cited in the newspaper, the state Attorney General’s office “is examining the pressure the union applies to persuade contractors to hire union workers.” Friday’s raids were part of an ongoing federal investigation that centers on Dougherty’s personal finances and taxes as well as the union’s donations to the campaigns of Mayor Jim Kenney and state Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty, the brother of John, according to the Inquirer.

Dougherty spokesman Frank Keel released the following statement Sunday:

“It’s troubling and inappropriate that the State Attorney General’s office is talking to the media about an open, ongoing investigation. It’s also odd that the AG is investigating a fist fight on a construction site and probing the union’s peaceful, lawful protest actions against Ken Weinstein and the Post Brothers. In both situations, IBEW Local 98 reached amicable resolutions with the parties and there were never any charges filed against Local 98 or John Dougherty. Any allegations that the union engaged in threats or intimidation are utter fabrications. Regardless of our questions, IBEW Local 98 intends to cooperate with the investigating authorities.”

Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said the mayor’s office has no reason to believe that Kenney is related to the investigation, as she claims no member of the administration has been questioned by the FBI, and no requests have been made for documents.

The Inquirer reported in February that federal and state officials were looking into an alleged fight between Dougherty and contractor Joshua Keese, as referenced in the Local 98 statement.

Authorities searched Dougherty’s home in South Philadelphia, the Local 98 union hall, Dougherty’s Union Pub, and several other properties.

Dougherty was previously investigated and had his home searched by federal officials roughly a decade ago.

“Nothing has changed in my house except maybe for the tomato plants in the backyard,” Dougherty said to reporters outside his house on Friday.

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