Leaders of Highly effective Philadelphia Electricians Union Accused of Intimidating Challengers – NBC10 Philadelphia
The US Department of Labor has accused leaders of a powerful Philadelphia electricians’ union of intimidating challengers into running unopposed in last year’s board election.
The lawsuit announced on Friday is directed at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 and the managing director John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty. He and five others are due to be tried in March for stealing more than $ 600,000 in union money.
The Ministry of Labor now wants to annul the election and force a new one. According to the lawsuit, Dougherty warned a potential challenger that it would be “a long three years” if he lost.
In a statement, Frank Keel, spokesman for IBEW Local 98, described the lawsuit as an attempt to “smear” Dougherty and the union.
“John and the other duly elected local 98 officers want a choice and are looking forward to their day in court. The union has never been as strong as it is now, so no one ran against the incumbent team,” Keel said.
Dougherty has headed the 5,000-strong International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 since 1993 and has more recently taken the helm of the city’s 70,000-member Building Trades Council. In the last decade alone, he has channeled $ 30 million raised by the local electricians’ union to mostly Democratic candidates.