Another Former UAW President Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Dennis Williams, the former president of the United Auto Workers, pleaded guilty to embezzling union funds on Wednesday. His copping to the conspiracy charge comes after his successor, Gary Jones, similarly pleaded guilty to misappropriating more than $1.5 million from the UAW in June. They’re joined by numerous co-conspirators that have been caught in a gigantic federal probe hoping to address union corruption and appears to have hit pay dirt.

Appearing by video in the U.S. District Court in Detroit, Williams entered his plea and apologized about the current state of the UAW. “I want to close by apologizing to this court, to my family and to each and every hard-working member paying dues,” he said. “I hope by accepting responsibility for my actions and for my failures, this process might help restore the faith in our union.”

While Williams would have faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, he entered into a plea agreement like most who have been indited — with much of his testimony helping to take down Jones. It’s assumed his actual penance will be much more lenient than the maximum penalties he was originally subject to and will ultimately be decided at his official sentencing on January 25th of next year. Currently, he has claimed to have reimbursed the union by over $56,000 when he resigned in September.

Predictably, the union has condemned Williams’s actions as selfish, worthy of punishment, and not in line with what the UAW stands for. It’s an understandable, yet hilarious, claim to make. At the time of this writing, Williams is just one of 15 individuals that have been charged in connection to the union corruption probe being run by U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Matthew Schneider. It also continues to pick up steam, making us wonder where this will all end as increasingly important union members have become involved.

Automotive executives from Fiat Chrysler have similarly been implicated in the probe. But they never seemed the main focus of the investigation, just its point of entry.

Schneider said he was pleased to see Williams being helpful and taking responsibility, adding that the investigation would progress to “continue our drive forward to provide ethical and honest leadership for the UAW’s membership.” While he has not explained what that might entail. he said a temporary takeover of the union was not out of the question. Schneider also did not rule out the possibility of more arrests and additional charges being levied against union members or automotive executives.

[Image: Daniel J. Macy/Shutterstock]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Crtfour Crtfour on Oct 02, 2020

    I give my car money solely to the Japanese and Europeans so that I don't support this nonsense.

  • Detroit-X Detroit-X on Oct 02, 2020

    Despite all the corruption and faults of the UAW, they are the well-deserved partnership to the short-sighted, overpaid execs in the Small-3.

  • Redapple2 Another bad idea from the EVIL gm Vampire.
  • Daniel J Alabama is a right to work state so I'd be interested in how this plays out. If a plant in Alabama unionized, there are many workers who's still oppose joining and can work.
  • ToolGuy This guest was pretty interesting.
  • NJRide So this is an average age of car to be junked now and of course this is a lower end (and now semi-orphaned) product. But street examples seem to still be worth 2500? So are cars getting junked only coming in because of a traumatic repair? If not it seems a lot of cars being junked that would still possibly worth more than scrap.Also Murilee I remember your Taurus article way back what is the king of the junkyard in 2024?
  • AMcA I applaud Toyota for getting away from the TRD performance name. TuRD. This is another great example of "if they'd just thought to preview the name with a 13 year old boy."