Retired UAW leader Joe Ashton due in court for bribery charges

He’s expected to plead guilty

Another United Auto Workers leader is expected to plead guilty in court today as part of a federal probe into alleged corruption within the union.

Joe Ashton, the retired UAW-GM vice president, is believed to have crafted a scheme with two associates, Jeffrey Pietrzyk and Michael Grimes, involving kickbacks and rigged bids totaling millions of dollars.

READ MORE: Retired UAW Vice President Joe Ashton charged in bribery, kickback scandal

UAW Interim President Rory Gamble wants to change the union’s direction entirely with the increased exposure of more alleged corruption.

“It is shocking and very disheartening at the same time,” Gamble said. “We don’t have time to play around, we don’t have time to continue discussing what we should do, we have to start implementing things we should have been doing years ago to protect this great organization.”

Ashton is among the highest-ranking people charged in the corruption investigation and will be in court today to face a judge.

Pietrzyk, who served on union’s Center for Human Resources board with Ashton, and Grimes, Ashton’s administrative assistant have already pleaded gui;ty and are waiting to be sentenced.