PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Day two of jury deliberations have wrapped up in the bribery and corruption trial of labor leader John Dougherty and City Councilmember Bobby Henon. Eyewitness News reporter Howard Monroe spoke with legal experts about why they say this case is so significant.
Both Henon and Dougherty deny any wrongdoing.READ MORE: Triple Shooting In Kensington Leaves 2 Men Dead, Another Injured, Philadelphia Police Say
But experts say these two men hold so much influence in the city that they should’ve known better. They also say this case could change City Council forever.
“One has the ability to make things happen and one has the ability to influence things to happen,” attorney Keir Bradford-Grey said.
Bradford-Grey says the professional relationship between Councilman Henon and Dougherty blurred the lines between right and wrong.
“When you have situations where it’s really a matter of public trust this is a very big issue for the people who vote,” Bradford-Grey said.READ MORE: Doylestown, Buckingham Township House Fire Leaves Man Dead
Even on Veterans Day, a federal jury is deliberating how close the lines got. Prosecutors argued that Dougherty kept Councilman Henon on the Local 98 payroll to influence his actions on City Council. The defense argued that Dougherty was doing what was best for his members.
“When voters vote for a councilman and that councilman is supposed to represent that district, when the votes go in a separate direction at the urging of someone like Johnny Doc then it’s un-democratic at the end of the day,” criminal defense attorney Michael Dugan said.
Meanwhile, Bradford-Grey says this could change the jobs council members could hold in the future.
“I can see moving forward that maybe there may be some different memorandums of understanding between council and the people that they work for in terms of what they can and cannot do, or should they recuse themselves from voting on matters or dealing with matters where their employers are involved,” Bradford-Grey said.MORE NEWS: Car Catches Fire In Old City After Crash, Leaves 1 Person Hospitalized
Both Dougherty and Henon have declared their innocence. A court spokesperson said they expect a verdict by the end of this week.