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Henon to remain in office until sentencing

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Councilman Bobby Henon

City Councilman Bobby Henon (D-6th dist.) released a statement indicating he will remain in office until he is sentenced on Feb. 22.

A federal jury convicted him of 10 counts of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, honest services wire fraud and federal program bribery. A longtime member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, Henon’s trial centered on the salary he was paid by the union while in Council, with the government saying he acted on the wishes of union boss John Dougherty.

Dougherty was also convicted and resigned his union post.

By law, Henon can remain in office until sentencing.

“My family and I are still processing the jury’s decision in my federal trial. I am presently working with legal counsel to evaluate next steps,” his statement began. “Although this is a difficult time, I am deeply appreciative of the incredible outpouring of support from my City Council colleagues, the residents of the 6th District and the city’s labor community. Their words of encouragement mean the world to me. The law requires that I resign my position before or at the time of sentencing. Accordingly, I will continue to serve in my capacity as Councilman until that time. My offices have and will remain open. My staff, who have demonstrated unwavering dedication and poise in the face of immense pressure, will continue their service to the 6th District and the City of Philadelphia. All of the events, programs, legislative initiatives and constituent services we have planned will proceed as planned and without interruption.”

Meanwhile, state Rep. Jared Solomon is introducing a bill to amend the Constitution to require elected officials to resign upon being convicted of a crime.

“As public servants, we have been elected to represent our constituents and promote the general welfare of our districts. Every elected officer, from a city councilmember to the governor, must make a similar promise to serve faithfully and carry out the responsibilities of their office with integrity,” Solomon said.

A special election will be called for Henon’s seat, probably at the same time as the May 17 primary. State Rep. Mike Driscoll is said to be the favorite to gain the Democratic nomination. Henon, as Democratic leader of the 65th Ward, could have a say in who gets the nomination in another special election, this one for the 5th Senatorial District. Sen. John Sabatina Jr. will resign at the end of the year to become a Common Pleas Court judge.

As an aside, a Sabatina aide, Bob Stewart, is expected to challenge state Rep. Kevin Boyle in the Democratic primary. Stewart is not expected to be Boyle’s only primary opponent.

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