PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The judge in the federal bribery and corruption trial of Philadelphia union boss John Dougherty and Councilmember Bobby Henon dropped one of the counts against Dougherty on Tuesday and allowed the trial to move forward after the defense asked for the case’s dismissal.
The defense team asked the judge to throw out the government’s case. They argued the prosecution didn’t prove their case, but the judge is allowing the case to move forward.READ MORE: Philadelphia Firefighters Rescue 2 People From Fairmount House Fire
Judge Jeffrey Schmehl dismissed one count of “honest services fraud” against Dougherty.
Court started late Tuesday to give jurors the chance to vote.
The defense’s first witness was James Foy. He is the assistant business manager for IBEW Local 98, serving under Dougherty.READ MORE: 14-Year-Old Boy Shot Nearly 20 Times, Killed While Waiting For SEPTA Bus In North Philadelphia, Police Say
Foy testified that under Dougherty’s leadership, membership nearly doubled and wages for electrical workers tripled between 1995 and 2020, making members of Local 98 some of the highest-paid electrical workers in the country.
He also testified the culture at the union has improved since Dougherty became business manager in the 90s. They offer health benefits, help with rehiring out of work members and have established drug and alcohol abuse programs.
In cross-examination, the prosecution said Dougherty would use Henon’s position on City Council to find new and unpublished jobs for members.
Foy pushed back saying the union would call any councilmember who was willing to listen. The prosecution also argued Dougherty bribed Henon with tickets to Phillies and Sixers games.MORE NEWS: Police Investigating 'Suspicious' Deaths Of 2 Men Found In Box Truck In Northeast Philadelphia
Despite having that count dismissed, Dougherty still faces a dozen other counts, and Henon faces about 20.