Henon: “To My Knowledge,” the FBI Hasn’t Contacted My Office

Councilman Bobby Henon, whose office was raided by the FBI in August, held a short press conference on Thursday.

Photo via City Council's Flickr

Photo via City Council’s Flickr

Thursday was City Council’s first meeting of its fall session, which also marked the first day that Councilman Bobby Henon, whose office was raided by the FBI a month ago, had to face a scrum of reporters.

In case you haven’t been following HenonWatch 2016 over here at Philly Mag, we’ve been trying to get him to answer questions about the FBI raid on August 5th. That was the same day that the feds searched the home of John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, the leader of IBEW Local 98, the union that also pays Henon as a consultant. We’re all still sort of in the dark about the nature of the investigation, and Henon hasn’t been turning the lights on.

After Council’s meeting ended, his spokeswoman cut us off as we approached him and said he would give a short press conference outside of his office in a few minutes. So, a few minutes later, after entering his office, Henon briefly emerged from his office, read a short statement to reporters, and then re-entered his office without taking questions.

He said that on the advice of his attorney, he couldn’t give much information about the raids, and that anyway he didn’t know what they were about.

“I know you’ve all had some questions since August 5th, and under legal guidance — unfortunately, most of the questions are better directed at, I believe, law enforcement — but under the guidance of legal counsel, I’m going to tell you that the motivations, I cannot answer,” Henon said. “I don’t know what the motivations are. But what I can tell you to date is that law enforcement has not contacted me or any member of my staff, to my knowledge.”

Earlier, Council President Darrell Clarke said he hadn’t spoken with Henon about the investigation.

“Councilman Henon was supported by members of Council on the stage of the Academy of Music to be majority leader,” Clarke said. “Until something changes as to his status, he will continue to be the majority leader of City Council.”

“I don’t know what’s going on,” Clarke added. “I’m not even sure he does.”

The FBI, as usual, has not confirmed the existence or nonexistence of an investigation, nor the targets of any hypothetical investigation, nor indeed whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation even exists. A spokeswoman for Henon said that the city had hired a lawyer for Henon*, but wouldn’t say who the lawyer was or what firm he or she works for.

*Note: After this article was published, Councilman Bobby Henon’s spokeswoman said she had misspoken. Henon has not retained his own lawyer, she said; instead, the city has hired outside counsel to represent him.

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