DETROIT (AP) - (09/21/19) - Federal prosecutors in Detroit have filed charges against an 11th person in an investigation of corruption in the United Auto Workers.
Jeff Pietrzyk is charged with conspiracy. He's accused of accepting at least $70,000 in 2013-14 from a chiropractor who was paid millions of dollars to make watches for General Motors workers. Investigators also say Pietrzyk was a middleman who passed cash to someone identified as Union Official 1.
The charges were filed in a document titled criminal "information," which means a guilty plea is likely. The new case was filed Friday on the fifth day of the UAW's strike against GM. Defense attorney Robert Singer says Pietrzyk's role was "much more limited" than others in the scheme.
Pietrzyk of Grand Island, New York, was an administrative assistant who worked closely with Joe Ashton, now retired as a UAW vice president.
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“The charges against Jeff Pietrzyk are serious, and the conduct outlined in his charges is not just illegal, it is an affront to every member of the UAW. The UAW has already made changes to its purchasing procedures that require three bids and pushed the Joint Program Centers to significantly tighten their accounting controls to prevent this type of criminal activity from happening again. This conduct—which was suspiciously announced in the middle of our current bargaining—must not and will not distract us from negotiating the strongest possible contract for our members.”