As if it wasn’t difficult enough keeping up with the guilty pleas in the ongoing United Auto Workers-Fiat Chrysler corruption scandal, another name now can be added to the list. On Monday, July 23, Nancy Adams Johnson, for a while the second-highest ranking official at the UAW, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for accepting tens of thousands of dollars in illegal payments from certain Chrysler executives in return for dropping certain contract demands. She also abused her union credit card. Ms. Johnson had been charged in March in a five-count indictment following a joint investigation by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
According to federal prosecutors, Nancy Johnson, now 57, a resident of Macomb, Mich., conspired with her union and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) during collective bargaining sessions in 2015. Company officials Al Iacobelli and Jerome Durden, themselves now convicted, offered her and an associate money from the Chrysler training center if she agreed to drop some potentially costly union demands. This “pay for play” quid pro quo is illegal under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. In addition, she allegedly spent more than $75,000 in FCA funds on unauthorized personal uses and the UAW. Johnson is now the seventh person to plead guilty in the $4.5 million scandal. She faces up to 18 months in prison, plus a restitution order, at sentencing this November.