UAW president resigns after union seeks to oust him and another top official

United Auto Workers members have a small fire in a burn barrel at their picket line outside the General Motors Flint Engine Operations plant.
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DETROIT (WJRT) (11/20/2019) - Leaders of the United Auto Workers union are trying to force President Gary Jones and Regional Director Vance Pearson out of office due to a widening federal bribery and embezzlement probe.

The union says in a statement Wednesday that its executive board filed papers under the UAW’s constitution to expel the men from the union.

The papers say that Jones and Pearson directed submission of bogus expense records and concealed where the money went, violating ethics procedures and federal labor laws.

The Detroit News is reporting that Jones announced his retirement from the UAW through his attorney less than an hour after the union released news of the charges.

Pearson has been charged with embezzling thousands of to pay for expensive cigars and wines, golf greens fees, clothing and to rent a lavish villa in California.

Jones has not been charged but federal authorities raided his suburban Detroit home in August.

The union will appoint a special trial committee to hear the charges and the defense from Jones and Pearson. A two-thirds of the committee is required to remove the officials.

“This is a somber day, but our UAW Constitution has provided the necessary tools to deal with these charges,” said UAW Acting President Rory Gamble. “We are committed at the UAW to take all necessary steps including continuing to implement ethics reforms and greater financial controls to prevent these type of charges from ever happening again.”