United Auto Workers head takes leave of absence amid federal corruption probe

United Auto Workers head takes leave of absence amid federal corruption probe
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United Auto Workers (UAW) President Gary Jones is taking a paid leave of absence as the union faces a federal corruption probe.

The union said Jones’s leave of absence will be effective Sunday and came after a vote from its executive board.

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“The UAW is fighting tooth and nail to ensure our members have a brighter future. I do not want anything to distract from the mission. I want to do what’s best for the members of this great union,” Jones said in a statement.

UAW Vice President Rory Gamble will serve as acting president in Jones’s absence. 

“Together throughout the last few months, we’ve achieved substantial victories for UAW members and we know that we have more work to do. We want better health care coverage, better salaries and respect for our work. That will not change,” he said. 

Jones and former UAW President Dennis Williams have reportedly been the focus of the investigation over alleged fraud and misuse of funds, but no charges have been filed against them.

Senior union officials involved in the corruption scheme allegedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on hotels and private villas and tens of thousands of dollars on cigars, golf green fees and merchandise.

Twelve people have so far been charged in the probe, according to CNBC. Ten people, including seven with the union, have been sentenced to prison thus far.