PHILADELPHIA (FOX 29) - Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon has pleaded not guilty to corruption charges in a federal courtroom on Thursday afternoon.
Henon, who was indicted alongside IBEW Local 98 boss Johnny "Doc" Dougherty and six others, was released on bail and forced to surrender his passport.
Dougherty is expected to appear in court Friday.
According to the 116-count indictment, Dougherty exerted complete control over the union, using that power to "repeatedly and persistently steal its funds and put his own self-interests over that of the membership." All told, the defendants misspent more than $600,000 in union funds, officials said.
Those funds were reportedly used as Henon's piggybank for pricey meals, trips and even household goods.
Federal investigators say Henon, a former union official, got a $70,000 union salary to press Dougherty's interests at City Hall. Henon used his office to pressure Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Comcast Corp. and others to use union labor, prosecutors said at a morning news conference.
It is alleged by federal investigators that Henon, who represents a Northeast Philadelphia district, was was involved in trying to stop non-union work in the city's children's hospital.
His attorney says his innocent client was just doing his job.
Henon released a statement alleging his innocence on Wednesday, after the indictment.
"I have done nothing wrong," Henon said in a statement. "Every action I have taken as City Council member has been with the goal of serving working people."
The defendants include Henon, the majority leader on council and chair of the public property and public works committee; union president Brian Burrows, and union officials Michael Neill, Marita Crawford, Niko Rodriguez and Brian Fiocca -- Dougherty's nephew. Also charged was Anthona Massa, who ran a construction company that received more than $1.8 million from the union for work done between 2010 and 2016.
You can read the full indictment here.