Exec charged in UAW training center probe leaves GM

Nora Naughton
The Detroit News

A top labor executive for General Motors Co. charged with criminal corruption connected to the Fiat Chrysler-United Auto Workers joint training center is no longer employed by GM.

A GM spokesman confirmed Friday that Alphons Iacobelli — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s top labor negotiator before his abrupt departure in the summer of 2015 — had left GM, but declined to comment further on the executive’s departure. It’s not clear whether Iacobelli, who joined GM after leaving Fiat Chrysler, was fired. Iacobelli originally was suspended from his duties at GM.

News of Iacobelli’s departure, first reported by Automotive News, comes two days after retired UAW Vice President Joe Ashton resigned from GM’s board of directors. Six weeks ago, The Detroit News reported that federal agents had expressed interest in talking with the former head of the union’s GM department as part of their widening investigation into the joint training centers funded by all three Detroit automakers.

Ashton has not been charged in the FBI investigation into the possible misappropriation of training funds, and if labor leaders at GM and Ford Motor Co. received money or benefits through their tax-exempt nonprofits.

Iacobelli was suspended by GM after he and Monica Morgan-Holiefield, wife of deceased UAW vice president General Holiefield, were indicted by a federal grand jury this summer. Iacobelli was accused of spending more than $1 million in UAW-Chrysler National Training Center funds on luxury items while working as FCA’s top labor negotiator.

The luxury items included $375,000 in home improvements for a pool, outdoor kitchen and spa at his home and landscaping; a $350,000-plus Ferrari 458 Spider; and two limited-edition, solid-gold Mont Blanc fountain pens that cost $37,500 each.