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Is UAW headed for federal takeover? Feds say it's 'on the table'

Tresa Baldas and Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

Labor watchers have been generally supportive of Gamble's moves since his elevation to acting president and then president as the scandal brought down his predecessor, Gary Jones, who has been ensnared in the probe.

Jones and his predecessor, Dennis Williams, have both been implicated as unnamed union officials in the corruption scandal. Prosecutors have accused Jones, Williams and others of embezzling more than $1.5 million in union funds, according to sources and court records.

Jones and Williams have not been charged.

Neither have Gordon, the UAW trinket vendor, or Settles, the UAW's onetime top negotiator with Ford who is now head of Detroit's Department of Neighborhoods -- a job that Duggan appointed him to. Settles' lawyer, Steve Fishman, had this to say of his client, and allegations that he took bribes from Gordon:

"Jimmy Settles never took bribes or kickbacks from Jason Gordon or anyone else. Anyone who believes that is, in the immortal words of Jack Nicholson in the movie Chinatown, even dumber than he thinks I think he is," Fishman wrote in an email to the Free Press.

Gordon's lawyer, Christopher Andreoff, also defended his client, stating:


"He denies any of the allegations that have been raised concerning his alleged, improper interaction with Gamble and Settles regarding his vending contracts with the UAW," Andreoff said Thursday, adding his client responded to government subpoenas in 2018 and 2019, and that's it.

"He has cooperated in producing company records relative to two subpoenas," Andreoff said.

The UAW also has denied any wrongdoing by Gamble, 64, a Detroit native who started his UAW career as a welder fixture repairman. He rose to the acting president's role after Jones took an unexpected leave of absence after the union's 40-day strike against General Motors was settled.

In his first week on the job as president, Gamble discussed the possibility of a federal takeover, telling the Free Press:


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