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Vance Pearson's home

The St. Charles home of Vance Pearson, 58, who has been accused by federal prosecutors of involvement in a conspiracy to embezzle hundreds of thousands from the United Auto Workers union.

Photo by Robert Patrick,

DETROIT  — A United Auto Workers union official charged in a widening federal bribery and embezzlement scandal has resigned.

The union said Sunday that Vance Pearson also will retire and resign from his membership in the union. He had been on paid administrative leave.

Pearson, who lives in St. Charles, was director of Hazelwood-based Region 5.

He was charged by federal prosecutors in September in connection with a scheme to embezzle union money and spend thousands on premium booze, golf clubs, cigars and swanky stays in California.

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Former UAW President Gary Jones has been implicated in the scheme but has not been charged. Jones, who preceded Pearson as Region 5 director, resigned last week.

The UAW had moved to expel both men from the union.

So far, 13 people have been charged in the federal investigation.

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