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UAW enacts ethics reforms

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union will tighten financial controls, ban contributions from employers and vendors to charities run by its officers, and hire an ethics officer in the wake of a federal corruption investigation.

Acting President Rory Gamble announced a package of reforms Wednesday designed to stop embezzlement and bribery that was unearthed by a continuing federal investigation into corruption that has implicated the UAW’s current and past presidents.

“I’m committed to putting in place the right mechanisms to safeguard our union, regaining the trust of our members and ensuring the misconduct that has recently come to light will never happen again,” Gamble said in a statement.

The reforms include a commitment to recover misused union money, which has angered many of the UAW’s 400,000 members and caused many to distrust its leadership.

The measures are designed to address problems with money from joint training centers run by Fiat Chrysler and General Motors winding up in the pockets of union officials, as well as diversion of union funds to buy expensive cigars and wines and stays at lavish California villas. The UAW also will seek recovery of all misused money.

The federal probe, which began four years ago, last week snared a retired union vice president and former General Motors board member. Joe Ashton was the 13th person to be charged in probe of the union and auto companies.