That’s basically what I was told when I called City Council Majority Leader Bobby Henon representatives as a regular city resident and asked about the FBI’s Aug. 5 raid of his office.
The raid on Henon’s office happened the same day the feds descended on the home of John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty and the headquarters of his Local 98 union.
It’s important to note that Henon and Dougherty have had close ties through Local 98 long before the councilman was elected in 2012. According to published reports, another important thing to note is that Henon is still on the union’s payroll as an adviser.
In other words, the friends who worked together —and still get paid together—were raided by the FBI together. This should concern any taxpayer in this city.
I can vent all day about the low-hanging fruit of controversy that is Philly District Attorney Seth Williams, but that is too easy.
What’s been difficult to figure out is why we haven’t heard more about the raid on Henon’s office in the media. Philadelphia Magazine has run a few stories about attempting to follow up with him — but other major outlets really haven’t touched it. Maybe partly because his refused to publicly address the incident.
No one knows exactly what the feds were looking for and why; what was seized and who was questioned. In comparison, Mayor Jim Kenney didn’t waste time publicly announcing that the FBI didn’t question his staff or search his office despite his own relationship with Johnny Doc.
Talk about differences in transparency.
Since this column appeared, the councilman’s office sent Metro a comment:
“My office has been and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement. I am not able to discuss specifics, but I do want to remind folks that my offices are open and ready to serve the residents of the 6th District and all Philadelphians.”
There has been much speculation about the lack of fuss in the press about Henon. Someone on my Facebook timeline referred to this avoidance of addressing Johnny Doc’s scandals as “Doc power” — suggesting the labor boss has a lock on the media when his problems publicly erupt. Well, consider my column a Kryptonite to this mythical (or not) influence.
But in all seriousness, what does it mean for Philly politics when a powerful City Councilman is raided by the feds and his constituents don’t get any answers from him? Are we supposed to turn and look the other way? Do we just pretend it’s no big deal, even though we don’t know the facts?
That’s not how accountability works. Councilman Bobby Henon owes taxpayers an explanation — not an excuse or avoidance of the issue altogether.
If we can badger DA Williams and former Mayor Michael Nutter this week on speculations of them making unethical decisions, we surely can subject Henon to the same level of scrutiny.