DETROIT — A Missouri-based official at the United Auto Workers who was charged with corruption last month has stepped away from the national organization.

UAW officials said in a statement that Vance Pearson of St. Charles, Missouri, began his leave of absence Thursday.

Pearson is the director of UAW's Region 5, which covers thousands of union members in more than a dozen states. The organization's national office in Detroit will oversee the region in Pearson's absence.

Officials did not give a reason for Pearson's leave of absence or say if he would still be getting paid.

Pearson is accused of embezzlement, fraud, filing false reports and conspiracy. He is the 10th person charged in an investigation of the Detroit-based union's finances.

About 49,000 UAW members walked off their jobs on Sept. 16 when contract talks slowed. The strike has shut down GM production in the U.S. and forced factories in Canada and Mexico to close. 

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