UAW president Gary Jones resigns as union moves to expel him and one other

Within an hour of the UAW announcing plans to expel Gary Jones and another top official from the Union, the now-former president announced plans to resign from the union.

The UAW Executive Board issued a news release that it had filed Article 30 under the union's constitution to impeach Jones and Vance Pearson, a regional director with the union Wednesday afternoon. 

The charges assert that Jones and Pearson led the submission of false, inaccurate and misleading expense records to the UAW Accounting Department. They are accused of hiding the true information concerning those expenses, which violates the UAW’s Ethical Practices Code and applicable federal labor laws.

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"This is a somber day, but our UAW Constitution has provided the necessary tools to deal with these charges,” said UAW Acting President Rory Gamble. "We are committed at the UAW to take all necessary steps including continuing to implement ethics reforms and greater financial controls to prevent these type of charges from ever happening again."

Despite the impeachment filing, Jones' lawyer said in an email he had decided to retire prior to learning of the charges. He did so "in order to allow the union to focus on its core mission to improve the lives of its members and families."

A union member for 44 years Jones took a leave of absence following an executive board vote earlier this month. Rory Gamble, a vice president who works with Ford, has been serving as the acting president until later notice. 

A week before that, a 12th man was indicted on corruption charges as a federal investigation continues to expand into accusations of embezzling union dues and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.. Edward Robinson, the 72-year-old president of the United Automobile Workers Midwest Community Action Program was listed along with five unnamed individuals in the indictment on Thursday.

The money that was embezzled, estimated at $700,000 was used to buy high-end liquor, golf apparel, cigars, wine and other "lavish expenses at the direction of and for senior UAW officials."