Dennis Williams, the former president of the United Auto Workers, has pleaded guilty Wednesday, September 30th to an embezzlement scheme. So much for being known “for his good company reputation.” What can we learn from the cautionary tale? Karma is your reward for “dirty deeds hardly done cheaply at expense of others!”
Williams said he suspicions the union dues were being used for golf, lodging, and fancy meals. But he “deliberately looked away” and enjoyed the “spoils” of bounty.
The big takeaway that Mr. Williams not the first person in this esteemed position to abuse his power. In fact, Dennis Williams is the latest senior leader at the UAW to plead guilty in the government’s investigation of corruption in the union’s upper ranks.
As it turns out, his successor as president, Gary Jones, pleaded guilty in June. The United Auto Workers suffers from the plague afflicted by self-entitled fat cats nibbling at the capitalist catnip.
Hard-Working Men and Women of The UAW
“As I have often said, the hard-working men and women of the UAW deserve so much better,” said Steven D’Antuono, head of the FBI in Detroit. We all know how hard the “little people” at the bottom work.
Dennis Williams Started at the United Auto Workers as a Welder and Became President
Initially, Williams joined the United Auto Workers as a welder in Rock Island, Illinois, in 1977. From there, he rose to become secretary-treasurer and eventually became president from 2014 until he retired in 2018.
Dennis Williams, 67, was accused of conspiring with others to cover up the source of cash which included for boozy meals, premium cigars, golf and lodging in Palm Springs, California.
The union’s Region 5 leadership, which was based in Missouri and headed by Jones, would hold weeklong retreats in Palm Springs. Jones would invite Williams along. He said he stayed beyond “what my union business required.”
Not so innocent? Williams told a judge he would wonder if there was a misuse of money. Yet, Jones told him “everything was above board.”
Fatal Mistake, No Conscience, Catholics Appear like Saints to Next This “Guy”
“I made the deliberate and conscious decision not to press the matter. Instead, I could have investigated the source of these funds or directed my staff to do so,” Williams said, appearing in court by video conference from California.
“It was within my power and duty as a UAW officer to do so. But I deliberately looked away.” That is beyond unfortunate and very stupid.
More than $53,000 in union money went to rent a villa for Williams for monthslong stays in 2015-18, according to a court filing. Williams faces a likely prison sentence of 18 to 24 months. Palm Springs is no vacation when you are spending time in a penitentiary.
“I want to close by apologizing to this court, to my family, and to each and every hard-working UAW member paying dues,” Williams said. Dennis, it’s a little too late, my friend.
The Detroit-based United Auto Works has about 400,000 members. It represents workers at Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford Motor.
The union said Williams has repaid $55,000 in inappropriate travel expenses. In addition, the United Auto Workers is selling a lakefront house built for him at a union conference center in northern Michigan. So much for the high life, Dennis…
Williams put “self-interest above that of our members and this union,” the UAW said Wednesday.
More United Auto Workers Officials Plead Guilty
Eleven union officials and a late official’s spouse have pleaded guilty since 2017, although not all the crimes were in connection. The first wave of convictions, which included some Fiat Chrysler employees, involved taking money from a Fiat Chrysler-UAW training center in Detroit.