Despite 2018 intro, Gary Jones was no Rocky

DETROIT — Gary Jones strode onstage in downtown Detroit for the primary time as president of the UAW in June 2018 to the Rocky theme track, thrusting his fist into the air and promising members that he’d “fight for you.”

He did not decide the music himself — some union leaders later complained it wasn’t as enthusiastic as they’d have appreciated — but when anybody within the UAW fancied Jones the Italian Stallion, they have been sorely mistaken. In this film, he is the unhealthy man who will get knocked out on the finish.

His 28-month prison sentence for embezzlement and tax evasion handed down Thursday proved that the one factor Jones had in widespread with Rocky Balboa have been connections to the prison underworld. If you keep in mind, Philly’s favourite fictional boxer began off as muscle-for-hire for an area mob boss to make ends meet.

Jones had larger illicit ambitions.

The 63-year-old licensed public accountant hoodwinked auto staff out of hundreds of thousands from 2010 to 2019, prosecutors found. That money paid for villas in Palm Springs, Calif., Titleist golf golf equipment, Louis Roederer Cristal champagne and Diamond Crown Churchill cigars, amongst different luxuries.

Jones, alongside together with his co-conspirators, did plenty of {golfing} and ate plenty of steak on members’ dime. Fighting for them? Not a lot.

Sure, he often talked robust, telling Detroit 3 executives firstly of 2019 contract negotiations that the union was the “voice of the American worker” and “defender of the middle class.”

But all through his tenure as president, he barely used that voice.

Jones avoided reporters whenever possible, ending quarterly media briefings.

During the contract talks and ensuing 40-day strike of General Motors, he was nowhere to be discovered, selecting as an alternative to ship out underlings to the picket strains and information conferences because the corruption scandal closed round him.

During the 2019 Labor Day parade in downtown Detroit, usually a giant deal for the UAW punctuated on the finish by a speech from the president, Jones did not march all the route, hustling off with different union officers about midway by way of.

I made my manner by way of the gang to the place he stood firstly of the parade and requested him to touch upon the corruption scandal and the current FBI raid of his dwelling.

“No,” was all he’d provide.

As Jones prepares to get cozy in his cell on the federal correctional establishment in Seagoville, Texas, he would possibly need to watch the “everybody can change” speech from Rocky IV — it is good recommendation.

To be truthful, he could have already got gotten that message. Prosecutors famous his “broken and contrite heart” in advocating for a decreased sentence.

Let’s hope his contrition is honest and that his sentencing actually is, as present UAW President Rory Gamble stated Thursday, the tip of “a very dark chapter” within the union’s historical past.

Because in terms of criminals like Jones, very similar to with the Rocky films, I believe we are able to all agree it is best if there are no extra sequels.

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