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Another former UAW official sentenced for corruption

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Another player in the sprawling UAW corruption scandal was sentenced to prison on Wednesday.

Edward Robinson is the former president of the UAW Midwest Community Action Program, based in Missouri. He pleaded guilty to helping orchestrate a “multi-faceted embezzlement scheme over several years in order to benefit the most senior leadership of the UAW and himself,” according to federal prosecutors.

Despite the fact that Robinson’s crimes were “substantial, serious, and took place over the course of nine years,” prosecutors asked for leniency. They said that Robinson “provided significant and extraordinary cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of other individuals and entities.” That included wearing a wire that helped provide the basis for subsequent prosecutions of two former UAW presidents, Gary Jones and Dennis Williams.

“In addition, Robinson’s cooperation contributed to the proposed settlement between the United States and the UAW, which provides for independent oversight of the union and a road to democratization, reform, and a UAW leadership with integrity,” prosecutors noted. That deal includes six years of government oversight for the UAW, and allowing rank-and-file union members the option of voting directly for their leadership.

Prosecutors recommended probation and restitution for Robinson. Instead, Judge Paul Borman sentenced him to one year in prison.

15 former UAW and auto executives have so far been convicted in multiple, overlapping corruption scandals related to union embezzlement.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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