PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the first time, FBI wiretaps between Philadelphia union boss John Dougherty and Councilmember Bobby Henon, both on trial facing federal bribery and corruption charges, were made public. This comes on the same day as defense attorneys asked the judge to throw out the case.Philadelphia Firefighters Rescue 2 People From Fairmount House Fire
Defense attorneys moved to have the entire case dismissed, arguing prosecutors failed to prove the allegations of bribery and fraud.
The jury was not in attendance on Monday and the judge did not rule.
For the first time, you’ll be hearing from the men at the center of this six-year-long corruption investigation.
The court granted requests from members of the press, including CBS3, to make those recordings public.
Dougherty: “Hey, how you doing?”
Henon: “Good, man.”
“Yo” and “hey.” It’s how roughly half of all the wiretapped calls started. The government was listening for weeks in 2015 and 2016 as Dougherty and Henon chatted.
Hours of calls played previously in court were released by the judge on Monday.
Prosecutors would say it was Dougherty using Henon to get things done on behalf of Local 98 in exchange for Henon’s $70,000 union salary.
Take, for instance, the behind-the-scenes politicking over a lucrative cable franchise agreement between Comcast and the city.
Dougherty wanted work steered to union laborers. He’s heard blasting Comcast on the phone with Henon, angered the deal wasn’t materializing.
Dougherty: “I never busted their [expletive], Bobby, when they brought in an outfit from Tennessee to do the major cable pulls through, in the first process, you know? They get everything they wanted all the time. This is [expletive] ridiculous. They’re [expletive] [expletive]. This is just a shareholder ego thing. I’m telling you, they’re so [expletive] embarrassed by Time Warner.”
Prosecutors previously told the jury it’s one example of how Dougherty leaned on Henon to exert pressure through his council seat.READ MORE: Hundreds Of Gloucester Township School Teachers Protest For New Contract: 'I Feel Taken Advantage Of'
Defense attorneys Monday morning sought to sink the government’s case, arguing they failed to show evidence of a corrupt agreement and Henon never used official action at Dougherty’s behest.
Dougherty said he was feeling good shortly after his lawyers argued to have his federal corruption case tossed.
“I feel real good,” he said. “I think our legal team did a really good job. The lawyers did a really good job today.”
Back in 2015, that Comcast deal did eventually get City Council approval, but not without considerable labor pains as Dougherty and Henon discussed information suggesting the top man at the cable giant allegedly instructed his company to walk away from making a deal.
Henon: “I just got off the phone. He said on his way over here, all right, with [Comcast Executive] Brian Roberts and Brian Roberts says, ‘walk away if you can’t get a deal, you know, on the labor thing,’ he says just walk.'”
Dougherty: “OK, walk away, let ’em walk away then. What the [expletive], who the [expletive].”
There are hours and hours of these calls released Monday afternoon.
One includes when Dougherty learned non-union workers were installing medical equipment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and how he allegedly reacted.
Dougherty is heard complaining to Henon:
Dougherty: “They tried to sneak in, they did sneak in hooking up that medical equipment. They’re just [expletive] us when they can.”
Testimony previously revealed the city’s L&I department stepped in and halted the project, which on the following call, Henon takes credit for after learning the work only stopped temporarily.
Dougherty: “They shut them down because they got guys from out of town coming in, doing highly technical work at Children’s Hospital for Siemens, you know, and then L&I went out, shut them down and somebody gave them the OK, they said inside the system to go to work.”
Henon: “Oh really? Well, the other part was me. All right. I’ll walk over personally.”
Prosecutors contend Dougherty leaned on Henon repeatedly to use his council seat to exert pressure on Local 98 interests.
Dougherty: “If L&I shuts them down, they’ll be upset.”
Caller: “They certainly will be.”
Defense attorneys had no comment to Eyewitness News on the fact the wiretap transmissions were released to members of the press.
Prosecutors Frank Costello and Bea Witzleben declined to comment.MORE NEWS: South Philadelphia Rowhome Catches Fire
The jury will be back at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.