U.S. charges fifth official in UAW-FCA scandal

DETROIT — A fifth person has been charged in connection with the UAW-FCA corruption scandal, according to federal court records released Tuesday — the latest in an investigation that has produced four guilty pleas.

Keith Mickens, who served as a senior UAW official from 2010 to 2015, was accused of spending training center funds on electronics, luggage and designer clothes, court records show. Mickens was charged in U.S. District Court with one felony count of conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act. The government filed the charge in the form of an information, which suggests the defendant is cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

Prosecutors say the money was funneled through the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, which is paid for by FCA and jointly operated with the UAW.

From 2012 through June 2014, Mickens siphoned more than $ 6,500 in training center funds on electronics, designer clothes and golf equipment for himself and other UAW officials, according to court documents. Additionally, in January 2013, he allegedly used his training center credit card to buy over $ 1,000 worth of luggage at a Detroit store, records show.

According to court records, in May 2011, the late UAW Vice President General Holiefield’s girlfriend at the time and future spouse, Monica Morgan, flew first class from Michigan to California. The $ 2,100 trip was organized by Mickens and others — and paid for with training center funds.

“We are deeply disappointed by the illegal misconduct alleged in today’s charge against Keith Mickens, a former UAW staff person,” a UAW spokesman wrote in an email to Automotive News. “At the time of his misconduct, Mr. Mickens served as General Holiefield’s administrative assistant. His position as an administrative assistant ended in 2014, and he left the UAW altogether in 2015. The scheme set out in the charge against Mr. Mickens did not affect the negotiation of the terms of our collective bargaining agreements or involve the loss of any union funds.”

Last month, Morgan pleaded guilty to one count of subscribing a false tax return under a plea deal and is facing up to 27 months in prison.

On Jan. 22, former FCA executive Alphons Iacobelli pleaded guilty to two of seven charges for violating the Labor Management Relations Act and for subscribing a false tax return.

Also charged in the probe: Former UAW Associate Director Virdell King and former FCA financial analyst Jerome Durden — both of whom pleaded guilty in August and agreed to separate plea deals. King pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act and Durden to creating false tax returns.

Mickens is scheduled to be arraigned March 19, according to federal documents.

FCA did not immediately return a request for comment on the case.

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