A sixth person has been charged in the FBI’s ongoing investigation into a $4.5-million conspiracy revolving around the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center in Detroit: Nancy Johnson – a former top aide of ex-UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell. Johnson was part of the United Auto Workers union’s 2015 contract renegotiation with FCA, and is accused of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in illegal payments from the automaker, Automotive News reports.
Jewell himself has not been indicted in relation to the scandal. He retired from the UAW at the end of last year, six months before his four-year term was set to end. According to an earlier report, Jewell was implicated in a plea deal made by former FCA US Labor Relations chief Alphons Iacobelli, and his charity – the Making Our Children Smile Foundation – may have been one of several used by top UAW brass to channel funds into their own pockets.
Nancy Johnson, 57, joins two former FCA employees and three union affiliates in being formally charged as part of the FBI’s investigation into how funds were siphoned away from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center to pay for gifts and donations to top union officials, possibly with the objective of making UAW brass take company-friendly positions. Johnson faces five criminal charges, including violating the Labor Management Relations Act, and could be given a maximum penalty of five years in prison, with a fine of up to $250k.
Johnson was “removed” from the United Auto Workers union in July, 2016, the union says. In a statement, the UAW called her alleged conduct “appalling,” saying it “runs counter to the values our union has upheld for more than 80 years,” but claimed that there’s no evidence it “in any way corrupted the negotiations of the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.”