UAW, prosecutor consider a monitor for avoiding corruption
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UAW, prosecutor consider a monitor for avoiding corruption

Last Updated Jun 30, 2020 at 6:24 pm ADT

DETROIT — A federal prosecutor and the United Auto Workers president are looking at using an independent monitor to make sure that a wide-ranging union corruption scandal never happens again.

The monitor was one option discussed during a two-hour meeting Tuesday between UAW President Rory Gamble and Matthew Schneider, the U.S. Attorney in Detroit, according to a joint statement. The meeting was held as the union tries to reform itself and hold off a possible federal takeover.

Prosecutors in March charged the union’s former president with corruption, alleging he plotted with others to embezzle more than $1 million to splurge on private villas, golf outings, boozy meals and horseback rides on beaches.

Gamble and Schneider also discussed Tuesday the importance of democracy in the union, according to the statement. Schneider, whose office has been investigating union corruption since 2015, has floated the idea of a government takeover of the UAW and has advocated for direct voting by members to elect union leadership. Currently the union’s roughly 400,000 members vote on delegates to a convention, who then vote on a president.

In the statement, Schneider appeared to back off from the takeover possibility, saying he looks forward to a “mutually agreeable resolution that will protect the interests of the UAW’s members and their families.” Gamble and other union officials oppose a government takeover.

An independent monitor would give union members the assurance of reforms “so as to reduce the possibility of a recurrence of corruption,” the statement said. Both sides discussed a number of reform options and agreed to meet again in the coming weeks, according to the statement.

Tom Krisher, The Associated Press

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