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FCA-UAW scandal grows

by Bill Cawthon on

The ongoing saga of union corruption added another chapter with the implication that Norwood Jewell, the former head of the United Auto Workers’ Chrysler department, was involved with the diversion of FCA funds earmarked for the UAW training center.

According to Automotive News, Jewell was not named but was indirectly implicated by former FCA labor chief Al Iacobelli in his plea deal with prosecutors.

According to federal officials, Iacobelli authorized salary reimbursements as a “political gift to the Vice Presidents of the UAW Chrysler Department.” This would indicate that Jewell was a recipient.

The corruption scandal centers on hundreds of thousands of dollar that were funneled into charities operated by UAW officials. Such payments are illegal.

No charges have yet been filed against Jewell, who led the Making Our Children Smile nonprofit, but federal authorities did search his home late last year.

Jewell’s predecessor, the late General Holiefield, was likely deeply involved. His widow and three others have been charged in connection with Holiefield’s charity, the Leave The Light On Foundation.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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