Federal prosecutors said Monday that they have chosen a former federal oversight official to monitor the UAW. This comes after prosecutors struck a deal with the union in December following a corruption investigation that went on for years. The UAW managed to avoid a federal takeover, but not a federal monitor.
That monitor was identified as Neil Barofsky in court papers requesting a judge to appoint him to the post. From 2008 to 2011, Barofsky was the inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, the $700 billion bailout of banks, AIG, GM and Chrysler enacted in the wake of the Great Recession.
Barofsky’s other experience, as described by prosecutors:
Mr. Barofsky is currently a partner at the law firm Jenner & Block. There, he leads the firm’s monitorship practice, and has served as a monitor in other matters, including his appointment to monitor Credit Suisse Securities LLC and Credit Suisse AG following billion dollar settlements.
In these matters, Mr. Barofsky was separately appointed by the Department of Justice and the New York State Department of Financial Services. The government has spoken with representatives from all sides of these monitorships, all of whom endorsed Mr. Barofsky’s tough but fair approach.
Prior to Mr. Barofsky’s employment with Jenner & Block, he worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. He was also appointed to be the initial Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (or TARP), an investigative agency that he built from scratch.
Prosecutors said that four other partners at Jenner & Block would also be on Barofsky’s team, and that under the terms of the agreement the UAW would be paying for the monitor’s services. Barofsky and his team will oversee “union election[s], compliance and investigations” at the UAW, as one of the issues prosecutors identified is that UAW leadership is currently not directly elected by its members. The UAW uses a delegate system instead.
The union agreed to have a federal monitor for at least six years as part of its settlement. If I were the UAW, I would welcome the monitor’s presence, given that the union has been so unwilling — or perhaps simply unable — in recent years to govern itself.
You can read prosecutors’ full filing below.