DETROIT — Prosecutors are searching for a two-year jail sentence for a former president of the United Auto Employees who they are saying had “two lives” — as a pacesetter of a blue-collar union and as a connoisseur of premium champagne and California trip villas paid for with members’ dues.
“Future leaders should perceive that substantial abuses of this belief — particularly ones by the senior most leaders — shall be severely punished,” the U.S. legal professional’s workplace mentioned in a court docket submitting Monday.
Dennis Williams pleaded guilty final 12 months to an embezzlement scheme that turned union dues right into a pot of money for golf, lodging and fancy meals. 4 bottles of champagne, for instance, value $1,760. He’ll get his sentence on Might 11.
Williams, who turns 68 subsequent week, tried to painting himself as a reluctant participant. However the authorities mentioned he got here up with methods to hide the spending.
“Dennis Williams tried to reside two lives,” prosecutors Steven Cares and David Gardey wrote. “On the one hand, at public occasions, he excoriated the issues that have been ‘flawed in the US of America’ as a result of union members ‘can not purchase the issues they construct.’ However in personal, he exploited the lots of of 1000’s of UAW members that he led.”
Williams’ attorneys mentioned he has repaid $132,000 to the UAW, which he led from 2014 to 2018. They’re asking for a jail sentence of a 12 months and a day, which might qualify him for good habits credit and a shorter keep.
“Mr. Williams has taken all potential steps to proper his wrongs. … When pleading responsible, Mr. Williams spoke at size relating to his deep remorse for his misconduct, apologizing to the UAW, his household, associates, and this court docket,” legal professional Terra Reynolds mentioned in a court docket submitting.
With about 400,000 members, the Detroit-based UAW is finest recognized for representing staff at Fiat Chrysler, Basic Motors and Ford Motor.
Williams wasn’t the one former president caught in corruption. His successor and golf pal, Gary Jones, additionally pleaded guilty and awaits a sentence.
Eleven union officers and a late official’s partner have pleaded responsible since 2017, though not all of the crimes have been linked. The primary wave of convictions, which included some Fiat Chrysler staff, concerned taking cash from a Fiat Chrysler-UAW coaching middle in Detroit.