GM wants judge to re­con­sider dis­missal of bribe claims against Fiat Chrysler

Chicago Sun-Times - - BUSINESS - BY TOM KR­ISHER AND ED WHITE

DETROIT — Gen­eral Mo­tors is ask­ing a fed­eral judge to re­con­sider his dis­missal of a law­suit against Fiat Chrysler based on new al­le­ga­tions that FCA bribed union of­fi­cials and GM em­ploy­ees with mil­lions stashed in secret for­eign bank ac­counts.

GM al­leges that bribes were paid to for­mer United Auto Work­ers Pres­i­dents Den­nis Wil­liams and Ron Get­telfin­ger, as well as Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Ash­ton. It also al­leges that bribes were paid to GM em­ploy­ees in­clud­ing Al Ia­co­belli, a for­mer FCA la­bor ne­go­tia­tor who was hired and later re­leased by GM.

The al­le­ga­tions were made in a court mo­tion filed Mon­day by GM, which wants to re­vive the law­suit that was dis­missed in July.

GM al­leges that pay­ments were made so the of­fi­cials would sad­dle GM with more than $1 bil­lion in ad­di­tional la­bor costs.

GM’s mo­tion con­tends that pay­ments were made to ac­counts in places like Switzer­land, Lux­em­bourg, Italy, Sin­ga­pore and the Cay­man Is­lands. The ac­counts were set up to avoid de­tec­tion in a fed­eral crim­i­nal probe of the union, ac­cord­ing to the law­suit. The ac­counts were dis­cov­ered within the last 10 days by pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors work­ing on GM’s be­half, ac­cord­ing to court records.

The union said in a state­ment it’s not aware of al­le­ga­tions about for­eign ac­counts, and it asked GM to share the in­for­ma­tion.

“If GM ac­tu­ally has sub­stan­tive in­for­ma­tion sup­port­ing its al­le­ga­tions, we ask that they pro­vide it to us so we can take all ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tions,” the state­ment said.

Fiat Chrysler called GM’s law­suit mer­it­less and said the judge in the case agreed. The com­pany will con­tinue to de­fend it­self “and pur­sue all avail­able reme­dies in re­sponse to GM’s at­tempts to res­ur­rect this ground­less law­suit.”

PAUL SANCYA/AP FILE

The head­quar­ters for Gen­eral Mo­tors in Detroit. A com­pany mo­tion al­leges that bribe pay­ments were made by Fiat Chrysler to secret for­eign ac­counts.

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