DETROIT — The UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, embroiled in a multimillion-dollar federal corruption scandal, sued two former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles officials and a union leader's widow Friday to recover more than $4.4 million in damages.
The training center, according to a lawsuit filed in a Michigan circuit court, accuses former FCA labor relations boss Alphons Iacobelli; Monica Morgan, widow of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield; and Jerome Durden, a former FCA financial analyst, of conspiracy to embezzle the money.
The 10-count civil suit accuses Iacobelli and Durden of fraud, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty.
Each of the defendants has separately pleaded guilty to charges related to the federal conspiracy case and is awaiting sentencing.
The suit also names Iacobelli's wife, Susanne, for allegedly benefiting from the conspiracy. She has not been subject to the ongoing federal probe. FCA officials are accused of paying union officials to take company-friendly positions during labor negotiations.
The training center, a joint training center funded by the automaker, is seeking more than $4.4 million: Nearly $2.7 million from Alphons Iacobelli; more than $1.1 million from Susanne Iacobelli; $539,219 from Holiefield; and $70,300 from Durden. However, some of the funds being sought could overlap, making the actual amount less.
"The NTC has zero tolerance for wrongdoing, and will work tirelessly to ensure that it operates to fulfill its intended purpose and to see that every dollar under its control is properly spent and accounted for," Shawn Fain and Tom Rolands, co-directors of the center, said in a joint statement.
Federal prosecutors contend FCA employees and executives, including Iacobelli, paid union officials through charities and other methods, including training center credit cards, to influence union business, including collective bargaining negotiations in 2011 and 2015.
Aside from the embezzlement complaints, the 20-page lawsuit appears to be a public relation move from the center, which is a separate nonprofit from the UAW. Nearly half of the pages detail programs and initiatives of the center such as sexual harassment prevention, employee assistance and paid education leave.
The lawsuit was filed days ahead of the UAW Constitutional Convention beginning in Detroit, where a new slate of leaders will be voted into office.