DETROIT — Federal prosecutors Thursday charged Gary Jones with stealing more than $1 million from the UAW membership he pledged to serve as president, an unprecedented abuse-of-power allegation for a union that has fought for workers’ rights throughout its 84-year-history.
Jones becomes the 14th person charged in connection with the years-long corruption probe that has uncovered a wide-ranging conspiracy to steal union funds and spend them on expensive champagne, cigars, golf clubs and other luxuries. The scandal has snared two retired vice presidents in addition to a onetime top negotiator at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
“Instead of that cash and property going to help the men and women of the union, Mr. Jones spent it on his own personal enjoyment and on the whims of other high ranking union officials,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in a press conference, noting Jones and others bought “items that workers of the UAW could scarcely afford.”
Jones was charged…