PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The jury will soon be deliberating the fate of Philadelphia labor leader John Dougherty and City Councilmember Bobby Henon. Jurors will decide whether they are guilty of charges of bribery and corruption.
Federal prosecutor Frank Costello used three words to wrap around the six weeks of testimony and evidence: “Dougherty bought Henon.”READ MORE: First Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 Omicron Variant Reported In Philadelphia, New Jersey
That’s a theme used repeatedly in the government’s closing arguments to the jury. It lasted nearly three hours.
Dougherty arrived at court with what appeared to be a labor rally.
The courtroom is also jammed with supporters and families of both defendants.
In trying to make their case, prosecutors alleged Henon sold his City Council office to Dougherty — the most powerful union boss in Philadelphia — and in exchange for a salary paid to Henon, he was Dougherty’s inside man on council. That, Costello said, is honest services fraud.
The puzzle pieces of the alleged corruption scheme include noting the official actions they accuse Henon of taking as a councilmember:
- Calling towing hearings
- Meddling in Comcast and Verizon franchise deals and Building Trade elections
- Holding up MRL installations at CHOP
- Instigating plumbing code feuds
- Punishing political rivals
- Holding agreements hostage because Dougherty, they claim, wanted Henon to exact revenge
All of it was carried out in exchange for that IBEW Local 98 salary paid to Henon, according to prosecutors. They explained what Dougherty allegedly said to Mayor Jim Kenney shortly after his first term began in 2016:READ MORE: Family Of Fallen Delaware County Firefighter Has Mortgage Fully Paid Off
“[Henon’s] on my payroll,” Dougherty allegedly said. “I pretty much own Henon in case you need anything.”
“[Henon’s] John Dougherty’s person on the inside. That’s what [Henon] is paid to do,” Costello said.
Mid-afternoon, defense attorneys began their closing arguments.
Lawyers Hank Hockeimer and Brian McMonagle are hoping to chip away at the government’s position and sway jurors that the Henon-Dougherty relationship was laser-focused on advocating for the labor cause. The two were in constant motion to make it a “level playing field” for labor.
They rejected there was ever a bribe and pointed to financial disclosures where Henon filed the necessary paperwork showing his IBEW salary. They called the government’s version alleging he hid the financial arrangement as “ridiculous.”
“Every stream of benefits must have a beginning. They have to have evidence that Mr. Dougherty authorized, facilitated the payment [to Henon] that started all of this. There is no evidence,” Hockeimer said.Mother Of Ahmir Jones, Teen Killed Protecting Girlfriend During Robbery Near Temple University, Speaks Out
Prosecutors will get a 25-minute rebuttal before the judge will bring the jury back Tuesday morning for jury instructions and then deliberations will begin.