Former UAW VP Joseph Ashton sentenced to 30 months in jail

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DETROIT — Former United Auto Employees Vice President Joseph Ashton on Tuesday was sentenced to 30 months in jail for accepting kickbacks as a part of a wide-ranging federal corruption probe into the union.

Ashton, a former Normal Motors board member, pleaded responsible in December 2019 to conspiring with different union officers to obtain “a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} in bribes and kickbacks,” in keeping with paperwork filed in U.S. district court docket in Detroit.

Ashton had confronted jail time of 30 to 37 months beneath a plea settlement, however his lawyer requested U.S. District Decide Bernard Friedman for home arrest and a considerable effective as a substitute.

Friedman mentioned on a webcast of the listening to that there have been too many victims and a message needed to be despatched.

“Punishment on this matter is vital … for deterrence,” he mentioned. “Individuals must know there’s a consequence.”

Ashton on Tuesday apologized to the union and his household.

“I can’t let you know how ashamed and remorseful I’m for what I’ve performed,” he mentioned.

Ashton, who left the GM board in December 2017 amid the federal investigation, beforehand forfeited the $250,000 in kickbacks he obtained.

The U.S. lawyer’s workplace in Detroit has been main a corruption probe into the union that had led to 15 folks being charged, together with two former presidents. Prosecutors are speaking with UAW leaders about reforming the union’s construction.

Federal prosecutors mentioned Ashton and different UAW officers steered an inflated $four million contract to a vendor to supply 58,000 watches to UAW members. The watches have been by no means distributed.

Assistant U.S. Lawyer Frances Carlson mentioned Ashton had been “motivated by pure greed.”

Because of the coronavirus outbreak and Ashton’s underlying well being situations, he doesn’t must report back to jail till subsequent June, the decide mentioned.





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