Ex-UAW President Gary Jones sentenced to 28 months in federal prison


DETROIT — Ex-UAW President Gary Jones was sentenced Thursday to 28 months in federal prison for stealing millions from auto workers to live a lavish lifestyle of golf, cigars and fine liquor.

Jones, 63, is the second consecutive union leader to be put behind bars, following his predecessor, Dennis Williams, who last month was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Jones was sentenced in person before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman just over a year after he pleaded guilty. His hearing was delayed multiple times by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I let my family down, and I let my union down,” Jones said, choking up in court. “I pray every day that no harm comes to the UAW and they’re able to be stronger and organized because of it.”

Jones’ original sentencing guideline was 46 to 57 months. Prosecutors had called for a 28 month sentence and for him to pay back or forfeit a total of nearly $750,000 for what they labeled as “naked ambition” that enriched a few while hurting the members he swore to fight for. They asked for the reduced sentence, however, because Jones’ cooperation helped secure additional convictions, including Williams’.

“Gary Jones in many ways is a good man,” prosecutor David Gardey said Thursday, noting his “broken and contrite heart” that showed through in their discussions. “He was a good man who found himself in and worked in a culture of corruption, which was the leadership of the United Auto Workers union.”

The UAW, in a statement, said Jones’ sentencing “brings to a close a very dark chapter in UAW history.”

“Jones clearly put his personal and self-interest above that of the members of his Union and has been stripped of his membership in the UAW,” the statement said.

“These serious crimes violated his oath of UAW officers and they violated the trust of UAW officers charged with handling our members’ sacred dues money as well as community action funds.”

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