January 10, 2014 / 6:57 PM / 4 years ago

UAW Chrysler official faces reckless firearm use charge

DETROIT, Jan 10 (Reuters) - United Auto Workers Vice President faces a charge of reckless use of a firearm in the accidental shooting of his wife while he was cleaning his gun in December at his Detroit area home, local law enforcement officials said on Friday.

A court in Macomb County issued an arrest warrant on the misdemeanor charge for General Holiefield, who will be charged once he is arraigned, according to a press release from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.

Holiefield, 60, is head of the union’s department handling relations with Chrysler Group LLC, and is not running for re-election for his position that expires in June.

Holiefield faces up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine on the charge of reckless use of a firearm, said the sheriff office’s statement.

Deputies from the sheriff’s office investigated and determined that the Dec. 30 shooting was accidental.

Holiefield’s 50-year-old wife was struck in the abdomen by a bullet from a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun, which the UAW official was cleaning, the sheriff’s office said.

She underwent surgery and was released from a local hospital, said Lt. John Michalke, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

Holiefield was involved in negotiations resulting in the U.S. government-sponsored bailout and bankruptcy of Chrysler in 2009 that led to Fiat SpA’s ownership of the No. 3 U.S. automaker.

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