Former International UAW President Dennis Williams sentenced to 21 months in federal prison

Sentence comes after former union boss pleaded guilty to conspiring to embezzle union funds

Ex-UAW president Dennis Williams gets 21-month sentence in corruption probe.
Ex-UAW president Dennis Williams gets 21-month sentence in corruption probe.

DETROIT – Dennis Williams, former president of the International United Auto Workers union, was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison on Tuesday.

Williams pleaded guilty on Sept. 30, 2020 to conspiring with other UAW officials to embezzle UAW funds, according to the Department of Justice.

At that time Williams pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Paul Borman to charges of conspiring with former UAW President Gary Jones and other senior UAW officials to embezzle UAW dues money between 2010 and September 2019.

UAW issues statement on conviction and sentencing of former top union boss:

Former UAW Member and President Dennis Williams has rightfully been sentenced today for his crimes that put his personal and self-interest above that of our members and this Union. These serious crimes violated the oath of UAW officers and they violated the trust of UAW officers to handle our members’ sacred dues money.

In August 2020, the UAW’s International Executive Board took action to stop payment of Williams’ legal fees. Subsequently the UAW demanded Williams resign his Union membership or face trial proceedings to secure revocation of his Union membership under Article 31 of the UAW Constitution. On September 18, 2020 Williams resigned his UAW membership effective immediately. Under policies of the UAW, including those enacted by current UAW President Rory L. Gamble and our International Executive Board, Williams is required to repay the UAW for all legal fees paid by the Union on his behalf or face legal action and Williams is required to repay UAW funds he wrongly took or misspent. The Union is dealing with Williams’ counsel and his insurer concerning full repayment of the legal fees. In coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the UAW has obtained $132,000 in restitution from Williams on account of Union funds he wrongly spent on personal lodging, meals, liquor, and golf.

Under the leadership of UAW President Rory L. Gamble, the UAW and the UAW International Executive Board continues its comprehensive review and strengthening our Union’s financial and ethical policies and controls and will continue to take the strong actions necessary to restore the full faith and trust of the UAW’s more than 400,000 members across the country.

As we have committed to our membership, when the UAW finds there has been wrongdoing, we will take all available actions to hold that person accountable regardless of status within the organization.

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About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.