Daily Briefs

Ex-Fiat Chrysler exec gets 5½ years in union bribery case

DETROIT (AP) — A former Fiat Chrysler executive was sentenced to 5½ years in federal prison Monday in a scheme to curry favor with union officials by buying them expensive gifts.

Former head of labor relations Alphons Iacobelli admitted that he turned the budget of a company-sponsored training center into a slush fund. He’s the highest-ranking company official sentenced thus far in a federal probe that includes training centers at General Motors and Ford.

Prosecutors have said in court documents that the goal was to get benefits and concessions for Fiat Chrysler in the negotiation and execution of contracts between the company and the United Auto Workers.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press reported that Iacobelli apologized, accepted responsibility and pledged cooperation in the probe before U.S. District Judge Paul Borman.


Republicans nominate Leonard for attorney general; Lang for SOS

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Republicans on Saturday solidified their ticket for the fall, choosing state House Speaker Tom Leonard as their attorney general candidate and accountant Mary Treder Lang for secretary of state while unveiling a “results not resistance” message they hope will persuade voters to keep the GOP in charge of the state.

Leonard, who previously worked in the attorney general’s office and as a prosecutor in Genesee County, defeated state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker at a GOP nominating convention attended by thousands of delegates in Lansing. He will face Democratic lawyer Dana Nessel, who secured her party’s endorsement months ago and will be officially nominated Sunday in East Lansing.

The 37-year-old Leonard called Nessel, an attorney and ex-prosecutor in Wayne County who has been embraced by the party’s left wing, a “fringe” candidate.

“We’ve got to stay focused on delivering real results for the people of this state,” he said, noting that the Republican-led Legislature eliminated onerous driver “responsibility” fees so hundreds of thousands of people will be able to get their driver’s license reinstated.

Lang, 58, who has worked in management in the business and nonprofit sectors, beat former Michigan State University assistant professor Joseph Guzman. She will go against Democrat Jocelyn Benson, the CEO of a sports-based nonprofit dedicated to improving race relations.

“In this day and age, it is important that the next secretary of state has the modern-day set of skills that are necessary to drive us forward as a state,” said Lang, pointing to her background in accounting and computer security.

Some intraparty conflict within the GOP was evident during the nomination of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Clement, who was booed because she recently joined 4-3 rulings to allow an anti-partisan gerrymandering initiative on the November ballot and to let public schools ban visitors from carrying guns. Clement and Justice Kurtis Wilder, who dissented from the redistricting decision, are Snyder appointees running to stay on the court, which Republicans control 5-2.

Also nominated Saturday were candidates for three university boards and the State Board of Education.