US automaker General Motors is not a target in the Justice Department’s probe into corruption within the United Auto Workers union, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit stated on Friday.
GM said earlier Friday that media reports claiming that GM might be a focus of a newer front in the years long criminal investigation being carried out by federal prosecutors in Detroit are not true.
“A letter was sent to GM’s counsel this week saying that GM is not a target,” a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office informed.
Federal prosecutors have alleged 14 people in the wide-ranging anti-corruption probe, including former UAW President Gary Jones who resigned in November, and a former Fiat Chrysler vice president and a financial analyst of the company. Of those, 13 have pleaded guilty.
Jones has a June 3 plea hearing set.
Last year, GM sued Fiat Chrysler charging its competitor with bribing UAW officials to gain upper hand in 2009 and 2015 labor contracts and have the UAW withhold those terms from GM. GM stated Fiat Chrysler’s actions put it at a multibillion dollar labor cost disadvantage.
Fiat Chrysler has rejected GM’s lawsuit as baseless and said it aimed at disrupting the Italian-American automaker’s proposed merger with France’s Peugeot SA, a charge GM rejected.
GM’s allegations relied in part on revelations from an active federal criminal probe into corruption within the UAW. That investigation started at Fiat Chrysler but has since spread to past and present UAW authorities at GM.
Matthew Schneider, the U.S. Attorney in Detroit, stated in March federal officials would keep investigating any corruption allegations, and a takeover of the union is an option available.
“We are not done,” Schneider stated during a press conference in March. “That’s one of the options …, whether or not federal government oversight of the UAW is necessary.”