...an undisclosed price, and through a former GM board member, Joe Ashton. Ashton was also a UAW vice president and has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for his role.
Convictions netted during the investigation included two ex-presidents of the union and a onetime lead labor negotiator for the automaker.
The scandal has also been the basis for a wide-ranging lawsuit filed against FCA. GM claims its rival corrupted the bargaining process in order to hurt it and force a merger, which did not occur. That suit, dismissed by a federal district court judge, is currently on appeal. FCA has called it meritless.
Erik Gordon, a law professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said the settlement represents a compromise for the federal government on changing the union's system of electing leaders.
"Instead of the government forcing the union to allow members to directly elect leaders, it is letting the union put the question to a vote. Union leadership won the point and can lobby hard to keep the old system," Gordon said, noting political considerations could have had an impact.
"The settlement is watered down from what was expected. The government may be anxious to get what it can before the new administration takes over in Washington, and union leaders seem to have taken advantage of that," he said.