After a monthlong criminal trial in U.S. District Court, Fox Rothschild Partner Patrick Egan secured a verdict that fully exonerated three-term Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson and his wife, Dawn Chavous, on all charges in an alleged bribery scheme.
“I never believed there was any evidence that our clients did anything wrong, and that’s why we went to trial. Fortunately, the jury agreed with us and flatly rejected the government’s case,” Egan said.
Federal prosecutors accused the couple of participating in a fraud scheme to accept more than $60,000 from nonprofit executives in exchange for political favors.
But Egan argued throughout the course of the trial that it made no sense for the nonprofits in question to resort to bribing Johnson to earn his support because his political career had been built on supporting issues such as affordable housing and expanding access to good schools in his district.
“The bottom line is, you can’t make evidence that doesn’t exist. And it never existed,” Egan told the jury.
A previous trial on the same charges ended in a mistrial in April. The second trial consisted of four weeks of trial proceedings in which the jury returned the verdict of not guilty on all charges after five days of deliberations.
Egan was assisted at trial by Fox Rothschild attorneys Nathan Huddell, Saverio S. Romeo and Stephanie Ohnona.
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