Union bigwigs helping embezzlement investigation into UAW president Gary Jones: report
Two former United Auto Workers bigwigs are cooperating with a federal investigation into union president Gary Jones for embezzlement, The Detroit News reported on Thursday, citing federal court records and six sources familiar with the investigation.
Jones' former deputy Danny Trull and retired UAW Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel have reportedly given investigators information about union leaders covering up more than $1 million in expenses for personal luxuries. Trull retired in 2015, while Casteel stepped down in 2018.
The probe into union leadership has already led to charges against Vance Pearson, the director of the UAW's Region 5. He was charged in September with corruption in an alleged scheme to embezzle union money and spend cash on premium booze, golf clubs, cigars and swanky stays in California.
Jones is reportedly one of the co-conspirators in a criminal complaint accusing Pearson of misconduct, although he is not identified by name. Federal agents raided Jones' home in Canton Township, Michigan, in late August.
Union leadership's precarious position raises the stakes as the UAW continues to negotiate with General Motors to get nearly 50,000 of its members back to work.
"In this case, the union leadership is very compromised. … They are not exactly in the position of taking the moral high ground on much of anything at the moment," Daniel DiSalvo, political science chair at the City College of New York, told FOX Business.
Trull told investigators he witnessed Jones use member dues on items including expensive liquor and golf clothes, purchases made during an outing to Palm Springs, California, The Detroit News reported. Trull claimed Jones told him to hide the expenses.
The criminal case implicated four current and former UAW officials including Jones and former UAW president Dennis Williams, according to The Detroit News.
Jones is reportedly listed as "UAW Official A" by investigators, while Trull is reportedly "UAW Official C."
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FOX Business' inquiries to the UAW and Department of Labor were not returned at the time of publication.