UAW President Gary Jones Resigns As Union Moves to Oust Him
The reforms announced by UAW Acting President Rory Gamble last week are already resulting in casualties. On Wednesday, the United Auto Workers Executive Board filed charges against President Gary Jones and Region 5 Director Vance Pearson under Article 30 of the UAW Constitution in a bid to oust them from the scandal-rocked union.
Jones, who took a leave of absence earlier this month amid growing suspicion of criminality, resigned almost immediately. Pearson, charged with embezzlement of union funds and money laundering, remains on his own leave of absence — one that’s likely to become permanent.
While Jones has not been charged in the ongoing federal corruption probe, media sources have named him in an embezzlement scheme that ensnared other UAW officials. Earlier this year, federal agents raided his home, uncovering $32,000 in cash.
“The Article 30 charges, signed by the entire International Executive Board, assert that Gary Jones and Vance Pearson directed the submission of false, misleading and inaccurate expense records to the UAW Accounting Department and further concealed the true information concerning those expenses, in violation of the UAW’s Ethical Practices Code and applicable federal labor laws,” the union stated.
“This is a somber day, but our UAW Constitution has provided the necessary tools to deal with these charges,” said UAW Acting President Rory Gamble, who’s vowed to clean up the union through new financial accountability and whistleblowing measures.
“We are committed at the UAW to take all necessary steps including continuing to implement ethics reforms and greater financial controls to prevent these type of charges from ever happening again.”
In a statement sent to the Detroit Free Press, Jones’ attorney, J. Bruce Maffeo, claimed his client chose to retire before hearing of the UAW ouster effort.
“Gary made the decision to retire before learning of the charges filed earlier today and did so in order to allow the union to focus on its core mission to improve the lives of its members and families. Gary appreciates the support provided to him by his family and friends and offered the following quote: ‘While I don’t know what my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has in store for me, I will look to him for guidance and support in the days and months to come.’ ”
Sources claim Jones was one of the unnamed UAW officials listed in court documents (“UAW Official A”) who conspired with Pearson, right-hand man Edward Robinson, and others to funnel $1.5 million from union coffers. The embezzled cash was spent on luxury items, including golf equipment, rented villas, and high-end liquor.
According to Freep, Jones told Robinson “that one of his relatives would be taken care of if he took responsibility for the embezzlement.”
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