Philly zoning board chair out after FBI raids

The chairman of the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment has resigned three weeks after his office and home were searched in connection with the investigation into the powerful electrician's union.

Mayor Jim Kenney appointed Dr. James Moylan, a South Philadelphia chiropractor, to chair the city's Zoning Board of Adjustment earlier this year.

Moylan is a longtime friend of Electricians Local 98 Business Manager John Dougherty, and he's done some consulting for the union, according to U.S. Department of Labor records.

Dougherty's home and office were searched by the FBI early last month;  later in August, agents served search warrants on Moylan's home and office.

The nature of the investigation is unclear, but mayoral spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said that after conversations with Kenney, Moylan has decided to resign from the zoning board, effective Wednesday.

"In the spirit of Dr. Moylan's dedication to public service and his strong character, he has decided that the city cannot afford for the ongoing media focus to distract from the board's important work," Hitt's statement said, noting that the mayor believes Moylan did an exemplary job as board chairman.

Moylan declined comment through a union spokesman, but a source close to Moylan said Kenney asked him to resign, and said he would be happy to have him back once his name is cleared.

Kenney has not yet named a replacement.

About the author

Dave Davies, WHYY reporter

Dave Davies has covered local politics and government in Philadelphia for more than 30 years. Dave is senior reporter for WHYY, and a contributor and fill-in host for Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He was reporter and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News for 19 years, and before that was city hall bureau chief for KYW News Radio and city hall correspondent for WHYY. He’s a Texas native who’s spent his working life in Philadelphia. Before getting into journalism, he worked as a teacher, cab driver and welder.

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