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The leader of Philadelphia’s Ironworkers Local 401, Joseph Dougherty, was convicted Jan. 20 on charges of racketeering conspiracy and counts of vandalism and extortion. The court found him guilty of and responsible for the use of arson, intimidation and violence in order to secure jobs for members of the union. The conviction came more than two years after the Quaker Meetinghouse jobsite of longtime ABC member E. Allen Reeves, Inc., of Abington, Pa., was the target of vandalism during the 2012 Christmas holiday causing an estimated $500,000 in damages.

Eleven members of the union pleaded guilty to charges which included the December 2012 vandalism to the merit shop-built Quaker Meetinghouse jobsite where vandals reportedly set fire to the cab of the mobile building crane rendering it unworkable and used an acetylene torch to shear off the steel bolts on several columns. Other columns were hacked halfway through at the base. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Livermore testified that FBI wiretap recordings found that Dougherty called nonunion builders “pigs” and “treated them worse than any pig should be treated,” adding that Dougherty created a culture within the union which rewarded these types of violent behavior.

Dougherty’s sentencing hearing is set for April and faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison.