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Labor Leader John Dougherty, City Councilmember Bobby Henon Found Guilty In Corruption Trial

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The jury in the federal corruption trial of labor leader John Dougherty and Philadelphia Councilmember Bobby Henon found them guilty on most counts Monday. Dougherty was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and seven counts of honest services wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. 

Henon was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, eight counts of honest services wire fraud, and one count of bribery.

CBS3 reporter Joe Holden, who has been covering the case from the very beginning and was in the courtroom when the verdict was read, said both men showed little emotion.

The judge denied federal prosecutors' motion to revoke Dougherty's bail, finding that he's not a danger to the community.

Henon's future on City Council is now fogged over by a conviction that shows he exerted pressure on major corporations doing business with the city to expand Dougherty's influence. He declined to comment as he left court, but his staff released a statement following the verdict.

"Earlier today, the jury in Councilman Bobby Henon's trial rendered a decision in his case," Henon's staff wrote in a statement. "We are heartbroken for the Councilman, the Councilman's family, the 6th district, the labor community and the City of Philadelphia."

Henon's future in politics remains uncertain.

Meanwhile, Dougherty declined to take questions as he left court, but he said he's tending to personal matters.

"We're gonna go back and regroup," Dougherty said. "Gonna take my time, meet with my lawyers, meet with my heads of the union and we'll regroup."

"Listen, I have been open to every one of you for all seven weeks and a better part of my life," he added. "I am very comfortable. You don't see me blinking, right? I am very comfortable. This is 25 years -- look all you need to know is the action that was taken at the very end, c'mon guys, nobody thought that was right."

On Monday evening, Dougherty released a statement about the verdict.

"Justice was not served today, and I can't tell you how disappointed I am by the jury's decision," Dougherty said in a statement. "What Councilman Henon and I were found guilty of is how business and politics are typically and properly conducted. I will immediately appeal and have every confidence that I will prevail in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals."

Jurors left the courthouse under the supervision of the U.S. Marshals Service. Jurors are free to comment on the work they did that led to the guilty verdict. At this time, Eyewitness News has not spoken to any jurors about the case.

The US Attorney's Office said they couldn't estimate how much jail time Henon and Dougherty could see, but sentencing is scheduled for February -- Henon on Feb. 22, Dougherty on Feb. 23.

Frank Keel, a spokesperson for Dougherty, said the convictions don't immediately trigger his removal from the business manager of Local 98.

"This verdict is an important verdict," Jennifer Arbittier Williams, the acting U.S. Attorney, said. "Today's verdict is a strong message to the political power players of this city and any city that the citizens of Philadelphia will not tolerate public corruption as business as usual."

A spokesperson for Mayor Jim Kenney said that he appreciates the jurors who evaluated the case and made the final verdict. He added that Kenney remains focused on addressing the challenges facing the city and that he expects Henon to do what he feels is right for the city and his constituents.

The jury on Friday had a number of questions for the judge, including the definition of honest services fraud. They deliberated for three days last week and returned to court on Monday.

Over the past week, Eyewitness News followed Dougherty and Henon in-and-out of court as they await their fate in a federal bribery trial.

Prosecutors successfully argued that Dougherty paid Henon a $70,000 per year salary and provided him with a no-show job at Local 98, along with other perks. In exchange, Henon allowed Dougherty to control his vote on City Council. The allegations spanned deals with mega-corporations, local authorities, and a hospital, and it followed a lengthy FBI investigation.

"Wiretaps were played extensively throughout the trial," Arbittier Williams said.

Dougherty and Henon have both denied the charges that include conspiracy and honest services fraud. Defense attorneys tried to shift the narrative -- and claimed their clients were acting on behalf of organized labor, within the guide rails of the law.

"All the public knew was that Henon drew a salary from Local 98, not that he was expected to do John Dougherty's bidding regardless of what was in the public's interest," Arbittier Williams said.

Meanwhile, Dougherty still faces a second trial around embezzling more than $600,000 from Local 98 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

City Council President Darrell Clarke said City Council will "respect its verdict."

"While it is always difficult to learn of a guilty verdict on conspiracy charges of a member of this legislative body, the jury has spoken, and we respect its verdict," Clarke said. "City Council has not been distracted by the trial, and remains focused on the urgent issues confronting our city -- public safety and gun violence, the recovery from COVID-19, safely restarting our economy, and creating more jobs, opportunity and hope for every Philadelphian. We'll keep doing our jobs for the people of Philadelphia every day."

"Regardless of the outcome of City Councilman Bobby Henon's federal corruption trial, the past few weeks have been a sad time for Philadelphia City Council. We have heard both testimony and wiretap recordings that cast serious doubt on the integrity of our legislative body. Now that the trial is over, City Council must act to address some of the troubling issues raised by evidence presented at the trial."

Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez also released a statement ot the verdict.

"Philadelphia City Council must put in place rules to ban outside employment for members. The potential for the appearance of conflict of interest is simply too strong and erodes the public trust. There can be no disputing that outside employment has the potential to compromise the integrity of our members.

I would also point out that we are a full-time legislative body with a generous salary in the poorest big city in America. Certainly, our legislative duties deserve our full attention.

I hope that my colleagues will join me in supporting a change. If we look at sister cities only exemptions for education with a cap on earnings have been allowed to build public trust. I believe we need to restore public confidence given the testimony in federal court.  Philadelphia cannot simply shrug and move on to the next scandal."

Councilmember Helen Gym weighed in Monday night on what potentially could and should change.

"Public trust and the integrity of elected officials must be paramount," Gym said. "There is no question that I think that there are gray areas in the law right now. There is no ban on secondary employment. I don't think we have strong conflict of interest rules and those are things that have to be put to discussion."

Henon is not required to resign until sentencing.

CBS3's Joe Holden and Alicia Roberts contributed to this report.

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