Will Lehman demands UAW monitor investigate appointment of Vail Kohnert-Yount to leadership post after $25,000 donation to Shawn Fain

Will Lehman, rank-and-file candidate for United Auto Workers president, sent the following letter to the court-appointed Monitor overseeing the UAW demanding a full investigation into the appointment to a leadership post of a donor and supporter of candidate Shawn Fain.

The second round of the UAW elections is concluding this week, even though the Monitor has not yet answered the protest submitted by Lehman on the anti-democratic character of the first round, nor certified the election results. For more information on Lehman’s campaign and protest, visit willforuawpresident.org.

Mr. Barofsky,

I recently learned that UAW Local 2320 Regional Vice President Vail Kohnert-Yount was appointed by Brandon Mancilla to the position of Region 9A Assistant Director (2021 salary = $174,000) after donating $25,000 to Shawn Fain’s campaign, which Mr. Mancilla supported. Ms. Kohnert-Yount nominated Mr. Fain for president at the 2022 UAW convention and is also the recording secretary of United Auto Workers for Democracy (UAWD), a group which supported both Mancilla and Fain’s campaign. This official’s appointment was approved by Ray Curry.

Paragraph 32 of the Consent Decree states: “Whenever the Monitor reasonably believes that [an action] may violate the injunctive prohibitions of this decree” the monitor “has the power to: a. Disapprove the hiring, appointment, reassignment or discharge of any person or business entity by the UAW or its constituent entities.”

On behalf of the rank and file, I am requesting that you conduct a full and transparent investigation into the circumstances behind this appointment. UAWD’s statement of February 22 indicates they agree to participate in an investigation. This must be conducted publicly in the view of the rank and file. The consent decree and your oversight role were supposed to have been implemented to stamp out this kind of corruption. But it has still not been stamped out, as this appointment makes clear.

I also still await your decision on the protest to the first round of election results that I submitted in December.

Will Lehman