PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - For the second time in a decade, union boss John Dougherty watched as federal agents carried boxes of evidence from his South Philadelphia home.
Though he said he was surprised by the early morning raid, Dougherty insisted he is not worried.
"Let them do their job," said Dougherty of the agents. "I'm very confident once we get this ugly scenario by everything will be fine."
Dougherty, 56, runs the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 and has long been a powerful political force in the city, most recently helping Mayor Jim Kenney win election last year.
"I've been under scrutiny my whole life," said Dougherty. "I don't know why-- maybe it's because I win too much."
Among the targets of coordinated raids was the headquarters office of IBEW local 98-- the electrical workers' union-- where Johnny is the longtime business manager. Federal agents also went to the IBEW training facility and to a bar owned by Dougherty. An FBI spokesman would say only that the searches are part of an ongoing investigation.
Federal agents also searched the City Hall and district offices city councilman Bobby Henon, a long time IBEW official and Dougherty protégé. A spokesman for Doc and the union could only speculate as to the nature of the probe.
Frank Keel said allegations of financial impropriety were "puzzling," since Local 98 is under regular audits and other scrutiny.
Mayor Jim Kenney is among numerous local politicians who have benefited from Dougherty support over the years. Kenney refused to speculate on the nature of the probe, except to say investigators will "come up with some sort of conclusion, one way or the other."
As the last of the evidence boxes were packed up and carted away from Dougherty's home, neighbors stepped up to show their support for this longtime Philly powerbroker in his latest battle with the Feds.
"He's a great, great guy," said Kathleen Grassio. "And they should just back off!"
Frank Keel, an IBEW spokesman, released the following statement:
“The FBI and other agencies this morning visited multiple sites in Philadelphia associated with IBEW Local 98 and the umion's Business Manager, John Dougherty, including John’s home. IBEW Local 98 officials and John Dougherty are cooperating with investigating officials. Local 98 undergoes an extensive annual audit and is subject to many layers of financial controls and oversights, which makes us question media reports of allegations of financial impropriety as the basis of the investigation. Similarly, the search of John’s home is puzzling, since nothing in it or about it has changed since the last time the FBI searched it a decade ago. There will be no further comment on this situation at this time, pending further developments."