Published May 21, 2015
A longtime Philadelphia union boss has been convicted in a racketeering case that accused him of using violence and intimidation to secure union jobs.
Federal prosecutors say 73-year-old Joseph Dougherty told Ironworkers Local 401 members they were at "war" with nonunion competitors.
They say his members ratcheted up the pressure on nonunion contractors as the economy stalled and jobs dried up.
Dougherty's conviction comes after nearly a dozen members pleaded guilty rather than face trial. Several testified against him, including a top deputy who described the arson of a Quaker meeting house being built with nonunion crews.
The defense said Dougherty never ordered up the vandalism and should not be held responsible for other people's crimes.
The racketeering, extortion and other convictions carry what could amount to a life sentence.