Federal investigators are examining a lavish trip by United Auto Workers officials that included golf, accommodations, and pricey meals in Palm Springs as part of a federal corruption investigation.
The investigation into the Palm Springs spending is part of a broader focus on how UAW officials spent cash in a training fund from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and member dues on things theme park ticket visits and trips – including a six-week visit to Palm Springs that included golf, booze, extravagant meals and, and more.
According to The Detroit News, UAW officials spent almost $1 million in member dues from 2014 to 2016 in the Coachella Valley during annual conferences.
The Palm Springs discovery is part of a broader focus on how UAW officials spent training funds from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and member dues on condominiums, liquor, extravagant meals and golf in the desert oasis. UAW officials spent almost $1 million in member dues from 2014 to 2016 in Palm Springs, where Gary Jones held annual conferences before becoming president in June.
The Palm Springs and theme park expenses are described by sources as examples of illegal benefits flowing to UAW officials during a years-long conspiracy to violate federal labor laws. The conspiracy involved Fiat Chrysler executives funneling cash and gifts to UAW officials in hopes of swaying contract negotiations and keeping labor leaders “fat, dumb and happy,” according to the government.
In one case, Former United Auto Wo . rkers Vice President Norwood Jewell and his top administrative assistant Nancy Adams Johnson attended a week-long conference in the desert, but stayed in town for approximately six weeks, according to the newspaper.
At least part of their $10,000 in expenses was covered by Fiat Chrysler.
The Detroit News goes much more in-depth on the investigation here