Press Release: Wolfe Reacts to Local 98 Indictments

Press Release: Wolfe Reacts to Local 98 Indictments

For Immediate Release
Date: February 1, 2019
Contact Information:
Ross Wolfe
(610) 745-1626

Republican Candidate for City Council at Large Matt Wolfe Calls for Councilman Henon to be Removed as City Council Majority Leader – Asks City to Come Clean

Philadelphia, PA– The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the indictments of City Councilman Bobby Henon, union leader Johnny Doc and several other members of Local 98.  Republican City Council candidate Matt Wolfe spoke out about the indictments.

“These indictments expose the corrupt side of Philadelphia politics.” Wolfe said.  “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in the criminal courts.  That being said, Councilman Henon’s ability to function on city council with the allegations against him has been compromised.”

The sprawling indictment contains 161 counts spread over 160 pages.  It demonstrates that Councilman Henon considered his primary responsibility was not to his constituents but to the union leader who paid him $73,000.00 a year on top of his $140,000.00 annual salary on city council.  Henon was also the recipient of free tickets to sporting events and other gifts.

“The taped conversations and documents referred to in the indictment clearly outline that the beverage tax passed by council – the highest in America – was passed not to make us healthier, not to fund pre-K education, libraries or rec centers.  It was passed to see to it that Philadelphia lost jobs.  In order to take revenge on a rival union, the beverage tax was calculated to chase enough business out of Philadelphia to force 100 Teamsters onto the unemployment line.”  Wolfe formally announced his candidacy at the ShopRite in West Philadelphia that is closing because of the beverage tax.

The indictment also stated that Henon got L&I to prevent Children’s Hospital from installing a needed MRI machine. Wolfe stated: “Imagine trying to deprive our children of important diagnostic tools.  Why would anyone do that, let alone a member of city council.” The indictment also recounted Henon holding legislation important to a major Philadelphia employer hostage unless they capitulated in hiring a specific friend and supporter of Henon and the Johnny Doc.

Wolfe called upon city council to remove Henon from his position as the Democratic majority leader.  “Henon should resign while these charges are pending, but city council has the responsibility and authority to remove him from leadership. If he doesn’t resign, the voters in his district will take their own action to remove him.”

Wolfe also took the city’s Department of L&I to task.  “For L&I to take action to harass Children’s Hospital and force them to be less able to take care of our young was reprehensible.  The city should turn over all records relating to this shameful incident.  The names of the individuals involved, from the supervisors to the inspectors who were on the scene, should be revealed.  We should all know what personnel actions will be taken against them and whether the cases will be referred for criminal charges.”  Wolfe also made a formal Right-to-Know request to the city for the relevant documents.  (A copy of that request if attached)

Wolfe finished by saying that “The real losers here are the 4700 members of Local 98.  Their leadership stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from them.”

About Matt Wolfe: Matt Wolfe is a former Deputy Attorney General.  He also served in the administration of Governor Tom Ridge as the Chief Counsel of the Department of Labor and Industry, which played a key role in helping Pennsylvania’s economy grow and attract new jobs.  Before that he was Assistant Counsel at the Department of Transportation and he was appointed a Special Assistant District Attorney and Special Prosecutor in several counties.  In Philadelphia, former District Attorney Ron Castille appointed him a Special Assistant District Attorney to represent the city to close down nuisance bars in his neighborhood.  He helped close down the notorious Times Café and the Purple Fox. He also served with Sam Katz when Sam was on the School Board as a member of the Philadelphia School Board’s Task Force on Scholastics and Sports, which developed academic standards for public school students to meet in order to be eligible for sports and extracurricular activities.

Matt Wolfe has been a community activist in West Philadelphia since he was in college.  He was a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Spruce Hill Community Association, also serving as its Vice President.  Matt has served as a member of the 18th Police District Neighborhood Advisory Committee and was Vice Chairman of the Woodland District of the Boy Scouts of America.  He is active in his parish, St. Francis DeSales, and has served on the Parish Pastoral Council and as a Eucharistic Minister.

Matt Wolfe has been an active Republican since college, is the Chairman of the University City Republican Committee and has served his community for years as a ward leader and committeeman.  Wolfe is a lawyer, having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova Law School,practicing election law and has taught other lawyers in continuing education classes in the area.  He currently maintains his own law office, understanding the challenges that a small business owners face.  His law office is in West Philadelphia where he lives with his wife, Denise Furey.  He has two adult sons, Jay and Ross.


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