Federal government looking into UAW spending

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®, Dane Sager Kelly

MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. - The United Auto Workers' scandal has kept federal investigators busy, but it appears they are following through on the help they received from a UAW official cooperating as a part of a plea deal.

ORIGINAL STORY: Former UAW official from Macomb Township pleads guilty to conspiracy with Fiat Chrysler executives

The former second-highest official in the UAW's Chrysler Department pleaded guilty in July to conspiring with other UAW officials and Fiat Chrysler executives to make illegal payments to union officials, U.S. attorney Matthew Schneider said.

Nancy A. Johnson, of Macomb Township, was one of UAW's highest officers, working on the Fiat Chrysler national bargaining committee and in the National Training Center in Warren.

When the federal investigators picked her up and indicted her, they listed the following expenses she made on NTC credit cards:

  • $1,259 on luggage
  • $6,678 on First Class airfare
  • $1,160 on shoes
  • $1,700 on golf equipment and more

Thousands of dollars were spent at Palm Springs resorts. 

The one getting the most attention is at the Renaissance Resort & Spa -- $1,800 in charges but more purchased at salons and restaurants there. 

A document filed with the federal court as part of her plea agreement, she said:

"In 2014, 2015 and 2016, in Palm Springs, California, high-level UAW officials used UAW funds to pay for extravagant meals, premium liquor, multi-month stays at condominiums, multiple rounds of golf for little, if any, legitimate union-business or labor-management purposes."

The UAW annual report shows more than $200,000 in expenses at the same resort, which is prompting this response from the UAW Thursday:

"UAW expenditures on these annual training conferences -- all of which are publicly reported -- are entirely reasonable. Over three years, more than 650 union attendees, from all over the western half of the country, attended all-day meetings during week-long conferences."

The union said everything is getting better and are distancing themselves from Johnson.

Johnson is expected to return to court on Nov. 19. She could be sentenced to up to 18 months in prison.

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