UAW Boss Had the Worst Taste in Corruption

Photo: AP

Back in April, United Auto Workers Vice President Norwood Jewell (left) pled guilty to a number of charges related to the ongoing UAW corruption scandal, in which Norwood enriched himself by using funds for a training center on stupid stuff for himself instead.

At a recent sentencing hearing, federal prosecutors detailed what Norwood did with that money. I, for one, am shocked and appalled at the horrendous taste this corrupt union official had.

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From the Detroit Free Press:

The list of illegal benefits purchased with money that was supposed to be spent training workers included a $2,182 shotgun, $8,927 for a three-bedroom villa with a private pool and hot tub in Palm Springs, Calif., and a $25,065 “decadent” party with strolling models lighting labor leaders’ cigars and wine bottles featuring Jewell’s name on the label. He also spent UAW member dues on another three-bedroom villa and a pool in the desert oasis.

This collection of extravagant expenses is the classless American male’s idea of what class looks like.

Are there pictures? Oh, you better believe there are pictures.

The “villa”:

Photo: U.S. Attorney’s Office
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Photo: U.S. Attorneys Office

The shotgun:

Photo: U.S. Attorneys Office
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And the personalized wine bottles (filled with very, very expensive wine):

Photo: U.S. Attorneys Office
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Back to the “villa” for a second: what makes it a villa? That it has not one, not two, but three bedrooms? The fact that it is ostentatiously styled despite lacking any semblance of class? Or merely that it exists in a warm climate and therefore can be called a villa?

In any event, Norwood paid $8,927 for a two-month stay in this old man’s version of a young man’s shag pad, which cost the UAW about $4,500 a month. The only winner here is owner of this “villa” renting out a golf course view three-bedroom ranch for more than a two bedroom Manhattan apartment.

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And don’t get me started on that wine label. A man who needs to find validation by having his name praised on a wine label that he ordered is a man with so little self-respect he could not possibly sink any lower, except perhaps to buy a $2,000 fancy shotgun.

UAW began negotiations with the Big Three earlier this month. Its workers deserve not merely fair contracts and officials who won’t steal their money to rent crappy houses, but ones who have a modicum of self-respect.

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About the author

Aaron Gordon

Senior Reporter, Investigations & Technology, Jalopnik