PHILADELPHIA (FOX 29) - An electrical contractor with operations in Philadelphia and South Jersey pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges that link him to a top official with the IBEW. That official is unnamed in court documents.
FOX 29's Bruce Gordon reports.
The lights were out, the signage was minimal and the paint was peeling on George Peltz's MJK Electrical Corporation in Berlin, New Jersey, Monday evening.
Hours earlier, Peltz was in court, pleading guilty to a fistful of federal crimes, including tax evasion, paying union workers in cash and skimming from that fund, failure to pay payroll tax as required and theft from employee benefit plans. Perhaps, the most intriguing charge of all was unlawful payments to a union official.
From 2012 through 2016, Peltz admits to giving a person described in court documents as "Union Official No. 1" and his family members around $65,000 dollars in free televisions and security systems. Items included in the list that Peltz gave Local 98 Official No. 1 were gift cards and gift certificates worth $4,500 from Boyds, which is a Center City clothing store, according to court documents.
Local 98 is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the powerhouse union to which MJK has long connections.
On the same August 2016 day when federal agents raided the Philadelphia home of Local 98 boss John Dougherty, they also raided Peltz's's business.
To be clear, court documents do not name Dougherty as the recipient of Peltz's gifts. The term is "Union Official No. 1." However, Dougherty is bracing for widely anticipated indictments charging him with union-related misdeeds.
Just last week, in an exclusive interview with FOX 29, our Hank Flynn asked about those impending charges and how his members would view them.
"I think the men and women trust me but it would definitely have an effect because you’re under indictment. It would definitely have an effect, but I think that the men and women would stand behind me truly because I know that we didn’t do anything wrong," Dougherty said.
There was no comment from John Dougherty's spokesperson Monday.