The government’s investigation into the United Auto Workers’ top leadership appears to be heating up, as current and former UAW leaders turn on each other.
The federal government’s ongoing, multi-year corruption investigation into the United Auto Workers took a shocking turn this week, as the Detroit News reported that some of the union’s current and former top leaders are assisting federal investigators in the government’s investigation into UAW president Gary Jones.
A top deputy to United Auto Workers President Gary Jones and one of the union’s most powerful officers are helping federal prosecutors build a criminal case against the labor leader for embezzling union funds, The Detroit News has learned.
Former deputy Danny Trull and retired UAW Secretary/Treasurer Gary Casteel have met with investigators and provided an insider’s view of an alleged conspiracy and cover-up involving more than $1 million spent on personal luxuries, according to federal court records and six sources familiar with the investigation.
Jones, who appears to have gone into hiding during the union’s biggest strike in more than a decade, was implicated last month when his former top aide, Vance Pearson, was charged with conspiring with other union officials to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars in union money.
Trull, who retired in 2015, once served as another one of Jones’ top aides and, according to the Detroit News, is “accused in the criminal complaint of using member dues to pay for golf, meals and shopping in Palm Springs and trying to conceal the expenses.”
“These UAW officials have intentionally and fraudulently concealed these personal expenses within the cost of UAW leadership and training conferences in order to prevent their discovery by the government and the UAW membership,” according to the federal court affidavit written by Labor Department Special Agent Andrew Donohue.
In addition to Trull, government investigators are also being aided by former UAW Secretary/Treasurer Gary Casteel, who abruptly retired last year.
“After much thought and discussion with my family, I have made a personal decision not to seek re-election as secretary-treasurer of the UAW,” Casteel said in an emailed statement to Automotive News at the time.
Based upon the report that the government is now being helped by UAW insiders to build its case against the sitting UAW president, Gary Jones, it may be only a matter of time before charges are filed.
If, indeed, charges are filed against Jones, it is reasonable to assume that charges will also be filed against his immediate predecessor Dennis Williams, who was cited as Jones’ “co-conspirator” last month.
Affidavit of Wrongdoing Within the UAW on Scribd
Related: UAW Corruption Archives