Philadelphia councilman Bobby Henon is resigning from his role months after being convicted of federal public corruption-related crimes.
Henon submitted his resignation to Philadelphia City Council President Darrell, and it went into effect as of 8 a.m. Thursday, the former councilman said in a letter. Henon had previously vowed to keep his seat until his sentencing in February of this year.
“I am grateful to the residents of the 6th District for allowing me to serve as Councilman for the past 10 years. I worked hard each and every day to be an outspoken and bold advocate for the hardworking people of the 6th district, but I could not have done it without the support and engagement of community leaders and residents,” Henon said in his letter.
Henon, a Democrat representing Northeast Philadelphia who was first elected in 2011, was convicted in November of last year in a federal trial that also brought down powerful labor leader John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty.
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Dougherty was found to have bribed Henon for access to power and decision-making in City Hall while Henon received a salary and other things of value from Dougherty, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Dougherty was found guilty of eight counts while Henon was found guilty of 10.
Both face as much as 20 years in prison on the most serious offenses.
In his letter, Henon touted accomplishments like opening a district office in the Tacony neighborhood, increasing the number of positions for police officers in the Philadelphia Police Department’s 15th District and investments in the city’s parks and recreation facilities.
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He had previously resigned as chair of four city council committees soon after his conviction.
“Although my time in Philadelphia City Council is coming to an end, my dedication to northeast Philadelphia will never diminish,” Henon wrote in his letter. “I will remain, as ever, committed to a life of service. Thank you, Philadelphia! May God bless and keep you.”
Following Henon's resignation, Clarke said it is "important" that residents of the 6th District be represented in the city council. The council president said he would take "appropriate steps" in "due course" and in accordance with city law to fill the new vacancy.
“City Council will not be distracted by this event, and remains focused on the urgent issues confronting our city – public safety, gun violence, the recovery from COVID-19, restarting our economy, and creating more jobs, opportunity and hope for every Philadelphian. We’ll keep doing our jobs for the people of Philadelphia," Clarke said.