Dougherty-Henon trial delayed after juror tests positive for COVID-19

John Dougherty and Bobby Henon face conspiracy and honest services charges.

Annie McCormick Image
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Dougherty-Henon trial delayed after juror tests positive for COVID-19
All of the jurors were tested and they are expected back Wednesday.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The trial of IBEW Local 98 union boss John Dougherty and City Councilman Bobby Henon has been delayed after a juror tested positive for COVID-19.

Jury deliberations were expected to start Tuesday, but Judge Jeffrey Schmehl ended up postponing juror instructions until Wednesday.

All of the jurors were tested and they are expected back Wednesday morning.

The juror that tested positive has been dismissed.

The pool began with 12 jurors and six alternates. Several jurors have been dismissed during the trial and now two alternates remain.

Closing arguments concluded yesterday in the federal bribery trial.

The prosecution alleges that Dougherty used Henon's office to gain leadership in powerful union organizations and inserted himself in city negotiations with Comcast and Verizon.

Dougherty is also accused of trying to use muscle against other unions during the soda tax issue.

Prosecutors allege that Henon, at the behest of the communication workers union, called a council hearing to grill Verizon while they were in the midst of a strike. They also allege Henon and Dougherty shut down the installation of MRI machines at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia because there were non-union workers on the job.

SEE ALSO: Dougherty-Henon bribery trial: Streets commissioner claims union boss threatened his job

"He said to me he (Dougherty) could have me replaced," Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams testified. "I took it as a ... threat."

The defense maintains they were concerned about safety since the workers were non-union.

Hank Hockeimer, Dougherty's attorney, stated to jurors at the beginning of his closing that "Henon's salary was not a bribe."

He added the salary was also not a secret and it was disclosed. Hockeimer urged jurors to focus when listening to the wiretap conversations.

SEE ALSO: Bribery trial opens for Philadelphia union boss Johnny "Doc" Dougherty and city leader Bobby Henon

Three years since their indictment, the trial begins for labor leader John Dougherty and City Councilmember Bobby Henon.

Hockeimer says Dougherty never demanded Henon to do anything even though he may have said he made demands to the councilman to others.

Henon's defense attorney Brian McMonagle picked apart every allegation made by prosecutors. He stated that his client Henon should be found not guilty. He, like many other councilmembers, have two jobs and he was an active employee of Local 98, McMonagle said.