DETROIT — A plea hearing is scheduled next month for the highest-ranking UAW figure charged to date for taking part in a multiyear conspiracy to siphon millions of dollars used to train union members at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
According to The Detroit News, Jewell is expected to plead guilty and could face up to five years in prison.
Jewell was charged Monday with conspiracy to violate labor laws by receiving more than $40,000 worth of travel, lodging and meals from people acting on behalf of FCA from at least 2014 to 2016.
The plea hearing is slated for April 2 in federal court in Detroit, according to court records. U.S. District Judge Paul Borman has sentenced seven others to prison — three from FCA and four associated with the union — on charges related to the investigation.
Michael P. Manley, an attorney representing Jewell, confirmed his client's plea hearing date but declined discuss further details.
Jewell, who abruptly retired at the end of 2017, was first implicated in the conspiracy scheme several months ago.
He headed the union's FCA Department in June 2014, following the retirement of General Holiefield, who led the department from 2006 until his retirement. Holiefield, who died in 2015, and his wife, Monica Morgan, were key figures in the case.
Morgan was sentenced in July to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to a tax charge for hiding $201,000 from the government on her 2011 taxes.
The federal investigation was made public in July 2017. Prosecutors contended FCA employees and executives — led by former labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli — paid union officials via fake charities and other methods, using funds from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center, to keep them "fat, dumb and happy."