Ex-UAW president arraigned on embezzlement charges; guilty plea expected next month

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DETROIT — Ex-UAW President Gary Jones was arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court via video conference weeks ahead of a hearing in which he is expected to plead guilty to embezzling union funds.

The former president, who resigned his post late last year as an ongoing federal corruption investigation closed in on him, appeared on video wearing a dark suit and navy blue tie. His attorney, Bruce Maffeo, entered a not-guilty plea on two counts of conspiracy to embezzle funds and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Each of the charges could send Jones to prison for up to five years.

Jones was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond that came with certain conditions, including that he report to pretrial services. His travel was restricted to within the continental U.S. and he is required to surrender his concealed pistol license and passport.

Jones was mostly silent, aside from responding, “Yes, sir, your honor,” to a few basic questions from U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Whalen.

The ongoing corruption probe has so far resulted in charges against 14 people and resulted in 13 guilty pleas.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider, who leads the investigation, has indicated the probe is not yet complete and has not ruled out a potential federal takeover of the union. Rory Gamble, Jones’ successor as UAW president, is attempting to avoid that fate by reforming the union from within.

Jones is due back in court June 3. He is expected to plead guilty.

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