Dennis Williams is expected to plead guilty Wednesday afternoon in the ongoing corruption scandal, but the former UAW president has already resigned from the union.
Williams, 67, of Corona, California, is scheduled for an arraignment and plea hearing via video conference in federal court in Detroit on a charge of conspiracy to embezzle union funds. It carries a maximum five-year prison term and $250,000 fine if Williams is convicted on this charge, although the plea agreement would clarify what he’s really facing. Williams’ attorneys have not responded to multiple requests for comment.
The picture of corruption painted by prosecutors is familiar by now. While he was an officer in the UAW, ending in 2018, Williams received lots of goodies paid for by union funds — stays for him and his friends in Palm Springs, golf and golf clothing, meals, liquor and cigars, according to court documents
Williams is the second former UAW president to be charged in the corruption scandal, which has nabbed 15 former union or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles officials to date. Williams’ successor as president, Gary Jones, is awaiting sentencing. The scandal has forced the UAW into talks with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit, which could lead to various reforms, including direct elections of top union leaders.
Regarding Williams’ position with the union, the UAW said it “demanded Williams fully resign from his membership with the union or face charges under Article 31 of the UAW Constitution to remove him from our membership. On September 18, 2020, pursuant to that demand from the International Executive Board, Williams resigned his UAW membership effective immediately.”
The board had previously voted to stop paying for Williams’ attorney (his legal fees in 2019 alone were listed at more than $320,000, according to a UAW filing) and decided to have him