The FBI raided homes and offices across Philadelphia and South Jersey early Friday as part of a sweeping investigation of a powerful electricians union and its leader, John J. Dougherty. The FBI, acting in concert with the IRS, also searched the City Hall office of Councilman Bobby Henon, a key Dougherty ally and a paid union leader. The two-year investigation involves possible misuse of funds for union finances and political campaign contributions.

Dougherty has led the union since 1993, helping build it into a major statewide campaign contributor. As one of the city's most powerful Democrats, he was a key force in last year's elections, helping put Kenney in the mayor's office and his brother on the state Supreme Court.

Dougherty's lawyer, Henry E. Hockeimer Jr., said Friday that after years of federal scrutiny, Local 98 has put in place strict auditing controls to make sure its financial transactions are in order.

Related Areas