Local 401 business manager, 72-year-old Joe Dougherty, as well as union representatives Ed Sweeney, Sean O’Donnell, Christopher Prophet, and William O’Donnell, and five other officials are facing serious prison time if convicted of the charges, according to the FBI and prosecutors
Ten members of a Philadelphia ironworkers union face charges of arson and racketeering in connection with a fire against the church, which was employing non-union workers. Among the criminal acts mentioned in the indictment is the 2012 arson of a Quaker Meetinghouse under construction in the City of Brotherly Love — Philadelphia.
The group of self-described THUGS—an acronym for “Those Helpful Union Guys”—allegedly burned down the meetinghouse as part of a wider campaign of violence against non-union work sites across the city.
FBI agents arrested 10 of the union’s leaders Tuesday morning, including longtime head Joseph Dougherty, in a racketeering conspiracy case that appeared to affirm long-standing business complaints over the tactics employed by Philadelphia unions.
Prosecutors alleged that Dougherty and others have cost contractors hundreds of thousands of dollars over at least three years, and were indiscriminate in choosing their targets – equally willing to break skulls with baseball bats at a Toys R Us work site in King of Prussia or torch a Quaker meetinghouse under construction in Chestnut Hill.
Violence was not just a tactic in the ironworkers’ toolbox, prosecutors said. It is deeply ingrained in the structure of their organization.
Members earned spots on the union’s board based on their involvement in work-site attacks, and leaders relished their reputations as strong-arm enforcers, according to the indictment.
This is becoming a problem for all the Dem politicians who got big money from the THUGS.
The Ironworkers Union locals are major contributors to the Democratic Party and big supporters of President Barack Obama’s programs including Obamacare. So far, in the run-up to the November 2014 elections, the Ironworkers contributed over $600,000.00 to the Democrats especially Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Rep. Bruce Braily, D-Iowa, and others, according to reports.
U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, a Democratic candidate for governor, announced that her campaign had donated to charity the $10,000 contribution she received from the local.
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale quickly followed suit, giving up $7,500 he took from the group in 2012.
One candidate, though – State Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Democrat running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 13th District – defended the ironworkers’ contribution of $10,000 to his campaign last year.
I see Brendan has a promising future in the Democratic Party.