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Bobby Henon's Tenure On Philadelphia City Council Ends In Disappointing Fashion: 'He Took Care Of His People'

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A part of Northeast Philadelphia is without a district councilmember. Bobby Henon resigned from office Thursday after he was convicted in November in a bribery and corruption scandal alongside union boss John Dougherty.

Henon served Philadelphia's 6th District for a decade. His City Hall office is now closed but his district office in Tacony will remain open, despite his absence.

On Thursday, many people stopped by and told Eyewitness News they are disappointed Henon's tenure ended with a resignation following a federal conviction. 

"They have to go after everybody else, not just him," one woman said. 

This woman stopped by Henon's former district office in Tacony to get help with her heat bill, as others came for free diapers. 

And another man picked up some recycling bins. 

"He took care of his people," Bill Ivers said.

Many people in the Northeast are expressing disappointment after Henon resigned more than two months after his guilty verdict in a federal bribery trial.

"The city of Philadelphia has lost a great councilman, the 6th Council District," Ivers said.

"Although my time in Philadelphia City Council is coming to an end, my dedication to Northeast Philadelphia will never diminish," Henon said in a statement. 

No one answered the door at Henon's office in City Hall. It's now closed to the public. A sign that once held his name outside the office has since been taken down.

Philadelphia City Council held its first meeting Thursday without Henon, who faces up to 20 years in federal prison.  He's set to be sentenced next month and could have waited until then to resign. 

"I think acceptance of responsibility is absolutely going to help in that courtroom," Attorney Marni Snyder said.

Snyder said Henon's resignation now may show a judge at sentencing he is remorseful.

"I think that's the best way to make sure you're not receiving such a high sentence under the sentencing guidelines. I think this is a great move. I think that it's a sincere move, and it's a good move," Snyder said.

Snyder added Henon's reputation as a hardworking council member may help as well. He outlined a lengthy list of his accomplishments in a letter, like increased funding for 15th District police.

Henon also fought to get millions of dollars for Parks and Rec in Northeast Philadelphia. Henon even showed gratitude at his final event as councilmember at Jacobs Playground in Torresdale Wednesday. 

"No person is an island," Henon said. "I want to thank my staff and the Bobby Henon team for always going above and beyond the scope of responsibilities that we do serving the 6th District."

A special election is expected to be held to decide the next council member for the 6th District. There's no word when that might happen.  

Council President Darrell Clarke released the following statement:

"Councilmember Bobby Henon has submitted his resignation as Councilmember for the Sixth Councilmanic District to my office this morning, effective immediately."

"As I stated in November, while it is always difficult to learn that a member of this body has been convicted of violating the law, the jury spoke, and we respect its verdict."

"I will take the appropriate steps authorized under the Home Rule Charter regarding this vacancy in Council in due course and in full accordance with city law. It is important that the people of the Sixth District have representation in City Council."

"City Council will not be distracted by this event, and remains focused on the urgent issues confronting our city – public safety, gun violence, the recovery from COVID-19, restarting our economy, and creating more jobs, opportunity and hope for every Philadelphian.  We'll keep doing our jobs for the people of Philadelphia."

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