Guilty plea in federal probe

April 15, 2008 4:18:51 PM PDT
A life-long friend of state senate candidate John Dougherty pleaded guilty today to 98 counts in a sweeping federal indictment.

Donald "Gus" Dougherty, who is not related to the candidate, admitted to theft, tax fraud and bribery, among dozens of other criminal charges. He will, however, go to trial next month on the two remaining counts. Both of those counts involve his friend, the powerful labor leader known as "Johnny Doc."

Gus, himself a union electrician, is accused of sweetheart discount deals involving the head of Local 98.

John Dougherty, considered the frontrunner in the race to replace the retiring senator Vince Fumo, has not been indicted and maintains he has done nothing wrong.

Federal agents have searched John Dougherty's Pennsport home as part of their ongoing corruption probe.