3rd federal trial of former Philadelphia labor leader John Dougherty set to begin

A jury of 12, with four alternates, was seated on Monday.

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Monday, April 15, 2024
Trial against former Philadelphia labor leader accused of threatening contractor set to begin
Trial against former Philadelphia labor leader accused of threatening contractor set to begin

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Opening statements are scheduled to begin on Wednesday in the latest trial of former Philadelphia labor leader John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty.

A jury of 12, with four alternates, was seated on Monday.

Dougherty, who led Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for nearly three decades, is accused of threatening a contractor over a dispute surrounding his nephew's poor job performance.

Philadelphia labor union leader Johnny "Doc" Dougherty was arrested by federal authorities on 19 counts of conspiracy and extortion.

Authorities say Dougherty and his nephew and codefendant, Gregory Fiocca, confronted the contractor and the contractor's owners, agents, and employees, and threatened them with violence and economic harm.

An indictment says between October 2019 and August 19, 2020, Fiocca frequently did not show up for work and did not do the work that was assigned to him. For these reasons, he was sometimes paid for fewer than 40 hours of work for the week.

When Dougherty learned of the issues, he blamed the people who were supervising the job, the indictment says.

The arguments about payments allegedly escalated into violence.

That's when federal prosecutors say Dougherty threatened the contractor by withholding overtime work on the site, pulling all electricians off the job, or preventing future work unless his nephew was paid.

This is the third federal trial for Dougherty.

He was convicted last year of embezzling more than $650,000 from electrician's union IBEW Local 98.