The fallout from the Chrysler-United Auto Workers scandal continues. Just ask Nancy Johnson. Last Wednesday, March 21, Johnson, a former ranking UAW official, was slapped with a superseding indictment in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for accepting tens of thousands of dollars in cash and other things of value from Chrysler executives for herself and an associate in return for dropping certain demands during collective bargaining sessions in 2015. The action follows an investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
Nancy Johnson not long ago was a real Detroit wheel. During 2014-16, she held the second most senior position at the UAW and was a member of the union’s negotiating team with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Unfortunately, she also could be bought. According to prosecutors, Johnson, now 57, a resident of Macomb, Mich., accepted bribes in the form of cash and gifts from certain unnamed FCA executives during the months leading up to contract talks in 2015. The company officials provided these gratuities with the expectation that Johnson would not raise certain issues. This kind of arrangement is illegal under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Her gifts included designer clothing, golf clubs, resort fees, limousine services, first-class airline tickets, and meals at high-end restaurants. While the Justice Department did not specify which Chrysler executives offered the bribes, it’s a fairly safe bet that one of them was the now-convicted Al Iacobelli, no stranger to Union Corruption Update. Jeffrey Peterson, Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division, explained the indictment this way: “As a former UAW official, Nancy Johnson chose personal greed over promoting individual leadership through her participation in a ‘pay to play’ scheme to enrich herself to the detriment of the union members she represented.”