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FINALLY!!!!

At least one elected leader has defied the Philly Shrug and called for indicted City Councilman Bobby Henon to resign

At least one elected leader has defied the Philly Shrug and called for indicted City Councilman Bobby Henon to resign

[Ed. note: State Rep. Jared Solomon, from Northeast Philly, became the first—but we hope not only—elected official to call on Councilman Bobby Henon to resign in the wake of his indictment last month on corruption charges stemming from his relationship to union leader John Dougherty. What follows is Solomon’s statement from a City Hall press conference yesterday.]

Today marks 30 days since the U.S. Attorney’s office released its 116-count indictment against Johnny Doc, Councilman Bobby Henon, and others. In those 30 days, two remarkable things have happened:

First, through the shocking allegations, we have learned the true breadth and depth of the Councilman’s corruption. We have learned of a sitting city councilman taking orders not from his constituents, but from his real boss, Johnny Doc. The Councilman said it best himself: “I don’t give a fuck about anybody” other than Johnny Doc and me. These were not just words, they were actions—he would rather shut down an MRI for sick kids at CHOP than cross his boss, Johnny Doc. And he would use city departments to complete the boss’s bidding. This is corruption, pure and simple.

Today, I call on Councilman Bobby Henon to resign from City Council.

The second thing we learned is even more shocking: When confronted with these charges, the result of a multi-year federal investigation, Philly shrugged. After a day or two we moved on, and I can understand why—corruption and abuse of office are what many Philadelphians have come to expect from their leaders.

Do Something

Instead of a reckoning, we had a month of silence. It was as though we had not learned anything new about the Councilman and how he operated, the way he viewed the public trust he had been given by voters.

Even beyond this building, I don’t think I have seen a single elected official say that Bobby Henon should no longer serve in office. Let me be the first.

Today, I call on Councilman Bobby Henon to resign from City Council.

I do this first and foremost as a constituent of his. I was raised in the 6th district in the Northeast. I still live there with my family right around the corner from where I grew up. We in the Northeast deserve better. How is a councilman, engulfed in this indictment, brazenly still running for re-election, supposed to properly serve me and my neighbors?

We in the Northeast deserve better. How is a councilman, engulfed in this indictment, brazenly still running for re-election, supposed to properly serve me and my neighbors?

I do this secondly as a State Representative whose district overlaps the 6th. I know these folks, I serve them myself. They are at my town halls, at my legislative summits, at civic meetings.  They love the Northeast, but they feel had. They feel taken advantage of. Duped by ribbon cuttings and roundtables, while their councilman served the needs of others first.

Like every American, Bobby Henon is entitled to his day in court, and until then a presumption of innocence. But he has not earned the right to have a city look away from his deeds—a pattern of behavior that shows him plainly unsuited to live up to his oath of office.

We in the 6th District deserve better, and we cannot wait until Election Day to get it. We would be better served by an empty chair in Council chambers than one filled with a corrupt councilman who listens to his true boss instead of the people.  

Photo Credit: Goldia Kiteck.

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