PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Changes may be coming to City Hall after labor leader John Dougherty and City Councilmember Bobby Henon were found guilty in their federal bribery and corruption trial.
Henon worked for IBEW Local 98 since the mid-1990s and kept that job after being elected to City Council in 2011. Now, some councilmembers are saying members shouldn’t be allowed to keep their second jobs.
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“We have this long history of corruption that was playing out right in front of everyone,” Dr. Charles Gallagher, with La Salle University, said.
Philadelphia politics playing out once again.
This time, Henon was found guilty, along with Dougherty, of corruption and bribery.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Dougherty kept Henon on the payroll of Local 98 to influence Henon’s actions on city council.
After the verdict, Dougherty said he was doing business and politics as usual.
Gallagher is a professor of criminal justice at La Salle University. He says politicians should be held to a higher standard.
“They’re entrusted with something that is extremely valued, and that is serving the general populace,” Gallagher said. “And I think when that’s violated, it’s a very serious breach of the trust.”
Several councilmembers have commented on outside work councilmembers should be able to hold.
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) November 16, 2021
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Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez has called for rules to ban outside employment for councilmembers, and on Tuesday, Councilmember Mark Squilla echoed those sentiments.
“I don’t think city councilmembers should have a second job if it’s perceived to be a bribe or guilty of a crime because of influences that are from having that job,” Squilla said.
Squilla says he doesn’t have a second job.
No one on City Council has yet to ask Henon to resign, but if he goes to jail, he will have to step down.
Mayor Jim Kenney also has not asked Henon to resign. He has a long relationship with Local 98 and Dougherty. He said unions should be allowed to lobby, just like any other corporation.
“The jury made a decision and Bobby Henon will make a decision based on what’s good for his constituents and for the city and we’ll move on,” Kenney said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Dougherty has resigned from the union.
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Mark Lynch will now serve as the union’s business manager.