The union’s statement said that nobody referred to in the charges against Jones, “whether by name or by alias, is a current UAW official, board member, or employee.”Still, Schneider said he could not comment on whether the government was investigating current members of the union’s International Executive Board. Gamble has previously told Automotive News he is “confident” the union’s current board members are clean.
The charges mark a dramatic fall from grace for Jones, who denounced the emerging scandal and promised to restore members’ trust in UAW leadership as president.
“When Gary Jones became president, he positioned himself as a reformer, that he was somebody that was going to stop this from happening,” Schneider said. “As we can see, that did not take place.”
Jones was charged in a criminal information, indicating that he intends to plead guilty. He faces up to five years in prison, although that could be reduced if he cooperates with the investigation.
Erik Gordon, a law professor at the University of Michigan, said he hopes this is the end of the corruption within the UAW but that it’s hard to believe it will be.
“You hope … the union can move on with being a union,” Gordon said.
The picture painted by government officials doesn’t suggest that’s likely.
Sarah Kull, a special agent in charge of the Internal Revenue Service office in Detroit, said last week that Jones and others “created a culture of corruption and greed which became regular practice at the UAW for over a decade.”
Kull said the IRS would hold Jones and others accountable.
“The behavior of Mr. Jones and other current and former UAW officials is inexcusable and served one purpose: self-enrichment,” she said. “The hardworking members of the UAW deserves a leadership team it can trust.”