Jun 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Ex-UAW president sentenced to 28 months for attempting to steal $1.5 million

Gary Jones, then the newly-elected president of the United Auto Workers (UAW), speaking in Detroit in June 2018.
Gary Jones, then the newly-elected president of the United Auto Workers (UAW), speaking in Detroit in June 2018. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former United Auto Workers (UAW) President Gary Jones was sentenced Thursday to 28 months in federal prison and will be forced to repay thousands of dollars after he pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy in 2020 for plotting to steal $1.5 million in union dues, according to AP.

Why it matters: Jones' crimes, and other corruption cases within the union, have significantly hurt the UAW's credibility and its members’ confidence.

What they're saying: “I failed them. I failed the UAW that elected me as president," Jones told U.S. District Judge Paul Borman on Thursday before his sentencing, according to AP.

Context: The federal investigation into Jones undermined UAW's General Motors members' massive auto strike in 2019.

  • Jones resigned in November 2019 after the union's executive board accused him of falsifying expense reports and took steps to remove him under its bylaws.

The big picture: Eleven union officials since 2017 have pleaded guilty for crimes uncovered by a federal corruption probe, according to AP.

  • Jones spent the stolen money on golf clubs, vacation homes, alcohol and lavish meals.
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