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Jury deliberations in John Dougherty federal embezzlement trial begin

Jury deliberations in John Dougherty federal embezzlement trial begin
Jury deliberations in John Dougherty federal embezzlement trial begin 02:34

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Jurors in the federal embezzlement trial of Philadelphia labor titan John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty and Brian Burrows began deliberating just after noon Tuesday. Dougherty told CBS News Philadelphia that he thinks he'll be OK.

"It's just like anything else," Dougherty said. "It's a wait now."

Dougherty thinks his life's work in building the electrician's union International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 will resonate with the 12 men and women now huddled in a secret room deliberating his fate.

"Listen, all you gotta do is take a look at the numbers," Dougherty said. "I mean the years we're talking about. I took the union over doing about two million hours of work a year. The years we're talking about we were doing four-and-a-half million closing in on five million."

SCENE-SETTER with Chief Investigative Reporter Joe Holden who is covering the John Dougherty federal trial in Center City Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know as the jury begins deliberations.

Posted by CBS Philadelphia on Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Dougherty talks about his résumé because it's the focus of this embezzlement trial. He stands accused of blurring lines, using his union's deep financial resources for personal expenses.

READ MORE: John Dougherty trial: Closing arguments in federal embezzlement case heard Monday

Dougherty is alleged to have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in Local 98 funds, something the government alleged was unknown by the union's 4,700 members.

The lines of how that money can be spent blur when considering Dougherty's attorneys say he used the cash advancing the causes of Local 98, and not for personal use.

That point is now for the jury to decide.

Burrows is also on trial, accused of using union funds to renovate a bathroom at his home. His attorney has said Burrows did nothing wrong.

Meanwhile, for Dougherty, he does concede he was not a good bookkeeper in explaining what money went where.

"And in the process of doing all these things, I didn't have time to cross check little odds and ends that I had a ton of people checking on," he said. "I just got 1,000 paper cuts. You just know how that goes."

This is the second trial for Dougherty. He was convicted two years ago in a trial that contain similar allegations. A third trial looms for Dougherty after this one.

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