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UAW monitor investigating Fain, others following leadership shake-up

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The independent UAW monitor is investigating union President Shawn Fain’s actions as well as those of Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock in the wake of a shake-up in union leadership in recent months. The monitor also is launching a separate probe into an unnamed International Executive Board member for alleged embezzlement.

The information is included in the latest status report from the monitor, which was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit. The 36-page report, a result of the consent decree that followed the corruption scandal that sent ex-union leaders and auto executives to prison, paints a picture of a union that has not been cooperative and has been slow to produce requested documents. The monitor’s office says it may need to seek court intervention if those things don’t change.

The union, according to the report, has asserted that it can withhold certain documents because they are privileged, which the monitor’s office disputes.

The issues involving Fain and Mock followed the union’s move to reassign nine departments overseen by Mock in February following criticism that she engaged in misconduct by not fulfilling a number of financial requests from Fain’s office and various other leaders. Mock, who has denied wrongdoing, said the actions against her were “improperly instigated in retaliation for her refusal or reluctance to authorize certain expenditures of funds at the request of and/or for the benefit of those in the president’s office,” according to the report.

Fain is also being investigated after he stripped UAW Vice President Rich Boyer of his oversight of the union’s Stellantis Department in May. The report said Fain issued a memo “asserting this action was taken because of that vice president’s ‘dereliction of duty’ in connection with certain collective bargaining issues.”

However, the report says Boyer and others asserted later that Fain removed the Stellantis assignment as retaliation against him for “among other things, refusing to engage in acts of financial misconduct to benefit others.”

More: UAW shake-up leads to reassignments amid criticism of a new leader

More: UAW’s Fain takes oversight of union’s Stellantis Department from vice president

In a statement provided to the Free Press, Fain said that “taking our union in a new direction means sometimes you have to rock the boat, and that upsets some people who want to keep the status quo, but our membership expects better and deserves better than the old business as usual. We encourage the monitor to investigate whatever claims are brought to their office, because we know what they’ll find: a UAW leadership committed to serving the membership, and running a democratic union. We’re staying focused on winning record contracts, growing our union, and fighting for economic and social justice on and off the job.”

No details were provided about the alleged embezzlement by the executive board member referenced in the report. The person is a regional director.

The report also provided updates on various other investigations. It noted that four international UAW employees and one local union official, who had pleaded guilty in a $2 million embezzlement case involving Local 412, had been expelled from the union, and that “since the start of the monitorship, the monitor has opened 24 investigations into allegations of post-consent decree misconduct,” ultimately closing, resolving or pausing 17. Two cases have been referred to the Justice Department for investigation, the report said.

Contact Eric D. Lawrence: elawrence@freepress.com. Become a subscriber. Submit a letter to the editor at freep.com/letters.

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