Amidst the GM strike of 48,000 members, the government continues to identify and arrest United Auto Workers (UAW) officials. Jeffery Pietrzyk allegedly received millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from vendors that manufactured clothing and watches.
Pietrzyk, retired from the UAW in 2014, was charged in an information with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering totaling approximately $123,000. He served as a senior officer in the UAW’s GM Department as well as co-director of the UAW GM Center for Human Resources, a jointly run training center. He is expected to plead guilty.
The case ties Pietrzyk to Michael Grimes, a former UAW administrative assistant and executive board member of the Center for Human Resources, who pleaded guilty to similar charges earlier this month in federal court in Ann Arbor.
UAW officials called Pietrzyk’s charges “serious” and have reformed their purchasing protocol so there is more “control” over the process in an attempt to prevent further crime.
According to Eric D. Lawrence of the freep.com,
“One of the specific allegations against Pietrzyk, who could not be reached for comment, involved a $6-million jacket contract for the purchase of 50,000 “Team UAW-GM” jackets. Prosecutors said Pietrzyk directed Grimes to demand $300,000 in kickbacks from the vendor for “Union Official 1,” which Pietrzyk “in turn delivered.”
In another case, Pietrzyk is accused of facilitating, along with “Union Official 1,” an almost $4 million contract through the Center for Human Resources for 58,000 watches.
Collectively, Pietrzyk and Grimes took $95,000 in vendor kickbacks related to that contract, prosecutors said. To conceal the scheme, the vendor wrote “antique furniture” or “furniture” in the memo line of the checks.