FBI agents carrying out 'court authorized' activity at Local 98 HQ

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Friday, October 16, 2020
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FBI agents were seen carrying out "court-authorized law enforcement activity" inside the Local 98 headquarters.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation were seen carrying out "court-authorized law enforcement activity" inside the Local 98 headquarters on Friday.

The agents were seen going in and out of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 offices in Philadelphia's Spring Garden section, but it was not immediately clear why.

This is not the first time the union has been under federal investigation.

The union presidents, other members and City Councilman Bobby Henon are currently awaiting their trial in a series of allegations ranging from bribery to embezzlement.

RELATED: Documents reveal new details in Local 98 union investigation

Union leader John Dougherty is accused of bribing the councilman to buy influence on the council.

Dougherty and other members were indicted last year after a long-standing investigation that also saw raids at the union headquarters and homes of members.

Dougherty and Henon deny any wrongdoing over the years.

In a statement, the law firm representing IBEW Local 98 said:

"We have no idea why the Feds staged today's made-for-TV event. John Dougherty has been under federal scrutiny for 28 years and has never once failed to cooperate. Everything they took today, they either took previously or could have simply asked for it and we would have turned it over. John Dougherty has the entire Philadelphia Building Trades working safely and at full employment in the midst of a pandemic. He met the opioid abuse issue that hurt his members head on and beat it. His leadership on economic opportunities has re-energized the city. And now we get another orchestrated federal raid? The timing is curious, as well. Here we are less than three weeks from a Presidential Election. Two weeks ago, the Philadelphia Building Trades, which John Dougherty also leads, unanimously endorsed Joe Biden for President. Two days ago, Local 98 hung a massive Biden For President banner on its union hall. And today, the Feds raided Local 98 again. That seems more than coincidental. Local 98 has no comment with respect to the specifics of the search warrant inasmuch as the Union has no knowledge as to the scope or specific focus of the government's apparent investigation. Local 98 continues to work hard representing its members and would like to remind the public, and the media, that the Local Union has not been charged with any crimes in connection with the indictments that were issued in 2019."