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Ex-UAW leader gets nearly 2 years in prison for corruption

FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2017 file photo, then-United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams...
FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2017 file photo, then-United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams speaks during a roundtable with reporters in Detroit. Williams has been charged with corruption, accused of conspiring with his successor and others to embezzle money for golf, vacation villas and fine dining.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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DETROIT (AP) - The former president of the United Auto Workers has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for corruption.

Dennis Williams took winter vacations in California covered by dues paid by members of the UAW. Williams led the union from 2014 to 2018.

He’s the latest in a long line of union officials who acknowledge betraying members through corruption. Williams pleaded guilty to an embezzlement scheme that turned union dues into a pot of cash for golf, lodging and fancy meals.

The government says Williams “has cast a stain” on the UAW. Prosecutors sought a two-year prison term for Williams.

Eleven union officials and a late official’s spouse have pleaded guilty since 2017, although not all the crimes were connected.

The following former UAW leaders and Fiat-Chrysler officials already have pleaded guilty to charges from the embezzlement scheme and appeared in court for sentencing:

  • Former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Vice President for Employee Relations Alphons Iacobelli (66 months in prison).
  • Former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Financial Analyst Jerome Durden (15 months in prison).
  • Former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Employee Relations Department Director Michael Brown (12 months in prison).
  • Former senior UAW officials Virdell King (60 days in prison).
  • Keith Mickens (12 months in prison).
  • Nancy A. Johnson (12 months in prison).
  • Monica Morgan, the widow of UAW Vice President General Holiefield, (18 months in prison).
  • Former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell (15 months in prison).
  • Former senior UAW official Michael Grimes (28 months in prison).
  • Former UAW Midwest CAP President Edward “Nick” Robinson (one year in prison).
  • Former UAW President Dennis Williams (21 months in prison).

The following former UAW officials have pleaded guilty to the embezzlement scheme and are awaiting sentencing:

  • Former UAW President Gary Jones.
  • Former UAW Vice President Joseph Ashton.
  • Former senior UAW official Jeffrey “Paycheck” Pietrzyk.
  • Former UAW Region 5 Director and UAW Board member Vance Pearson.

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