Gary Jones, UAW president who took leave earlier this month, suddenly resigned Wednesday after the union's executive board moved to remove him from that job and expel him from tray. Jones has been linked to a corruption scandal that has resulted in 13 people being criminally charged – but not (yet) Jones himself.
The news of Jones' departure came through his lawyer, Bruce Maffeo. Via The Detroit News :
"After much discussion with his family and friends, Gary has chosen to resign as UAW president and retire immediately," Jones attorney Bruce Maffeo told The News on Wednesday.
"His decision to do this was accomplished before he learned about the internal charges that UAW made earlier today and based on his belief that his continued service will only distract the union from its core mission of improving the lives of its members and their families. "
His attorney also made this statement to a TV reporter:
Jones had been president since June 2018, taking office several months after that federal investigation of the union began. Prosecutors and law enforcement have described the business of the union as an embezzlement system, where union funds pay for extravagant luxury. (Many in terrible taste .)
Jones has not been charged, but his home was attacked in August, when some golf clubs and $ 30,000 in cash were seized. Jones's departure came after he and another UAW official, Vance Pearson, were indicted by the union's executive board.
UAW's partial statement on these charges:
The Article 30 charges, signed by the entire International Executive Board, argue that Gary Jones and Vance Pearson directed the filing of false, misleading, and inaccurate spending items to the UAW Accounting Department and further conceal the actual information on these expenditures, in violation of the UAW Code of Ethics and applicable federal labor laws.
"This is a bleak day, but our UAW constitution has provided the necessary tools to handle these fees," said UAW's acting president Rory Gamble. "We are committed to UAW to take all necessary steps, including continuing to conduct ethical reforms and major financial controls to prevent this type of fees from ever happening again."
Jones's departure was not entirely unexpected, but the timing of it was somewhat, when the news broke within an hour of the union making its statement on the Article 30 allegations. Jones had been struggling for the chosen job on an agenda.
America's auto workers deserve better than UAW.