Looking back, Nancy Adams Johnson probably doesn’t think the money was worth it. On December 18, Johnson, former chief negotiator for the United Auto Workers with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, was sentenced in Detroit federal court to a year and a day in prison, and ordered to pay restitution and a $10,000 fine, for conspiring with certain UAW and Chrysler officials to receive more than $40,000 in cash payments and gifts in return for dropping certain issues during contract talks a few years ago. Johnson, who had been slapped with a five-count indictment this March, pleaded guilty in July. She is the seventh person to be sentenced in the scandal, which first came to light in July 2017. The actions follow a joint probe by the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards and Office of Inspector General.
According to prosecutors, Nancy Johnson, now 57, a resident of Macomb, Mich., received cash and other things of value from Chrysler officials Al Iacobelli and Jerome Durden during collective bargaining sessions in 2015 via the Chrysler-funded National Training Center (NTC) in return for the union dropping potentially costly demands. Such a quid pro quo arrangement long has been illegal under the Taft-Hartley Act. All told, she spent more than $75,000 in FCA funds during 2014-16 on unauthorized uses. This was part of a far larger scandal involving an estimated $4.5 million. “Ms. Johnson chose to forsake her obligation to serve the rank and file of the UAW in exchange for obtaining items worth thousands of dollars, including jewelry and clothing, from FCA corporate officials with whom she negotiated,” said James Vanderberg, Special Agent in Charge, Chicago Region, U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to safeguard the assets of union members.”