Is John Dougherty, better known around town as “Johnny Doc,” the man he portrays himself to be? On Friday, the feds searched the home, business, and headquarters of Dougherty, the celebrated union boss and political power broker.
The buzz spread quickly through the city, as FBI agents filled vans with confiscated papers and other material.
What are they looking for? The FBI wasn’t saying at press time. Dressed in a white button-down shirt and tan khaki shorts, Dougherty appeared outside his home last week, painting a picture of someone with nothing to hide.
But here’s what we know about the apparent target of their investigation.
The Dougherty File
Lives: 1600 block of East Moyamensing Avenue, Pennsport.
Education: Attended Sharswood Elementary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Joe’s Prep; dropped out of La Salle University.
Family: Married to wife Cecelia; two children, Erin and Tara. Dougherty’s mother is Mayor Kenney’s godmother; Kenney’s father is godfather to Dougherty’s sister. His grandfather was the Pennsylvania House Democratic whip in the early 1960s.
Childhood days: Burke Playground and the Edward O’Malley Athletic Association were popular childhood hangout spots where stickball, basketball, and football were a few of the activities of choice.
Occupation: Business manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 98, a position he’s held since 1993. He is also business manager of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents about 40 Philadelphia-area labor unions.
Other jobs: Board member, Delaware River Port Authority; board member, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority; former president of Pennsport Civic Association; former Democratic leader of South Philly’s First Ward.
Owns: Doc’s Union Pub, Second and Mifflin streets, Pennsport.
Charter School Founder: Founded the Center-City based Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter High School in 2002. Philadelphia-area students are provided with the necessary skills and tools needed to pursue an apprenticeship with IBEW Local 98 or another field/school of choice. His daughter, Erin Dougherty, serves as the CEO.
Political career: The only time he ran for office, he lost — in a 2008 bid to succeed ousted state Sen. Vince Fumo. He is former leader of South Philly’s First Ward, and former treasurer of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee.
Positive influence on youth: Launched the Enough is Enough mentoring initiative as well as the EOM physical education and summer camp programs.
Influence: Local 98 has given more than $25 million to political candidates since 2000, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Notable political connection I: Jim Kenney. The mayor of Philadelphia emerged from a crowded Democratic primary field thanks partly to Dougherty’s support.
Notable political connection II: Kevin Dougherty, his brother. He’s a state Supreme Court justice.
Notable political connection III: Hillary Clinton. He met with her for 20 minutes in a private meeting in Mayor Kenney’s office last April.
Notable use of high-tech gadgets: Deployed fleet of flying drones to monitor union and non-union construction sites.
Notable use of low-tech gadget: Deployed a fist to the face of a non-union contractor during a worksite brawl.
Notable achievement: Received Lifetime Achievement Award from the William Way LGBT Community Center. — By Bill Gelman and Don Russell