PHILADELPHIA (FOX 29) - Johnny Doc was raided by the feds in the summer of 2016. Now more than two and half years later, sources tell FOX 29 the federal probe into union head John Dougherty is about to come to a head with indictments likely coming very soon in the on-going investigation of Dougherty and his union IBEW Local 98.
FOX 29's Hank Flynn sat down Thursday for an exclusive one-on-one with Johnny Doc and he has a lot to say.
"Look, this is not a two and a half year investigation, this is a 25-year investigation," he told FOX 29. "Listen, you don't see me upset about anything. I'm just letting you know that you're telling me something that I haven't been made aware of and I'm not concerned about it because I've heard this."
Workers bustled about laying down plastic sheeting and carpeting for the upcoming auto show as Johnny Doc answered question after question. Certainly, about union work citywide. The building trades have no greater champion, but the 600-pound gorilla has for a couple years now been that investigation and the threat of charges it brings.
FOX 29's Hank Flynn asked if he were to be charged with misusing union funds how the men and women would look at him? Dougherty responded, "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's known as a power-broker and kingmaker though he says he dislikes those terms. Heavy political spending on behalf of Building Trades and IBEW Local 98-- which he runs--have always as he puts it been done to give the working man the same tools the same access to elected officials that the wealthy enjoy. He says that outside of the working class, it has not won him many friends.
"Some people are vindictive. Most people just don't understand my industry and I play with a lot of powerful people who aren't fond of me," Dougherty said. "A lot of people in this town - most of the greedy elite - they don't think much of me, OK. I'm white trash to them guys," Dougherty said.
Dougherty's been under federal investigation before never faced any charges or been convicted of any. It's federal policy not to comment on ongoing investigations but the rumor mill grinds away and quiet voices keep whispering about charges coming down. Let them talk--let them come--Dougherty told Flynn Thursday. He says he's got his own resources and they're telling him to relax.
"We have former U.S. attorneys, former FBI agents, former district attorneys all working with us," he said. "And I've asked them, 'Have you seen anything to date that has any criminality to it?'and the answer is, 'No.' And I'm very comfortable that we've been scrutinized by the best."
Dougherty adds that the lead prosecutor in the case has been a gentleman and that he knows the DOJ has a job to do.