Gary Peters’ political patron, former UAW President Dennis Williams, pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from workers after working with Peters in the 2018 gubernatorial race and 2014 U.S. Senate race
LANSING, Mich., October 1, 2020 – Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox today called on Gary Peters to return tainted UAW contributions and any other benefits Peters received from his political patron, the disgraced former UAW President Dennis Williams.
Cox said any such benefits directed by Williams to Peters should be returned to UAW workers as they seek to clean up Williams’ corruption. Williams pleaded guilty in federal court to embezzling money from blue-collar workers yesterday.
“Gary Peters was so close to Dennis Williams that they strategized together about Peters challenging Gretchen Whitmer in the 2018 gubernatorial race,” said Cox. “Prosecutors now say that Williams orchestrated millions in embezzlement and personal benefit schemes during the same timeframe.’
“Not only must Gary Peters return tainted campaign funds Williams directed to Peters’ campaigns back to the workers, but Peters must return or at least disclose the value of any other side benefits he may have gained by hanging out with Williams.”
As The Detroit News reported yesterday, worker-funded golf trips, cigars and booze were freely flowing while Williams was in charge:
“According to the government, Williams was a glutton who orchestrated multi-million dollar schemes that benefited him and the union. He is described in court filings as ordering Jones and others to use UAW money to pay his wife’s booze bill, buy $130 bottles of Crown Royal XR whisky and boxes of cigars, and to have cases of wine shipped to his home and office. The UAW also paid for private villas for him in California. That includes a 121-day stay three years ago in Cathedral City that cost the union $20,000, prosecutors said.”
According to media reports, Williams pleaded guilty yesterday and could face up to two years in prison.
Williams personally met with Peters in 2018 to strategize how Peters could challenge now-Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Bridge Magazine reported on January 15, 2018 that Williams led a meeting “described by one observer as a “full court press…to persuade Peters to enter the campaign, promising substantial help with fundraising…”
Earlier, Williams led the UAW when it endorsed Peters in his first race for U.S. Senate in 2014. In addition to putting UAW financial resources behind Peters in that race, Williams personally authored an editorial that boosted Peters’ chances for victory.