Joe Ashton, a former vice president of the United Automobile Workers Union, has been charged with bribery and money laundering, according to court documents filed Wednesday. The now-retired Ashton is the 13th person charged in connection with the corruption scandal, and also the highest ranking.
The move by federal authorities comes just days after UAW President Gary Jones stepped aside temporarily as he also comes under scrutiny.
The scandal has tainted a union long seen as one of the cleanest in the American labor movement. And recent events have cast a cloud over ongoing contract negotiations between the UAW and Detroit’s Big Three since some officials reportedly took bribes to back off on demands during prior contract talks.
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