US Rep. John Conyers announces retirement amid sexual-harassment allegations
US Rep. John Conyers announces retirement amid sexual-harassment allegations
Son, 27, chosen by 'serial sex harasser' John Conyers to succeed him in Congress was arrested for domestic violence
06 December, 2017, 00:11
Veteran Democrat John Conyers announced Tuesday he is leaving the US House of Representatives after more than five decades in office, following a series of sexual harassment accusations by former staffers.
On Monday, a crowd of 200 in Detroit showed support for the congressman, who was hospitalized last week for stress related health issues.
Conyers then went on to say that "incidentally", he was endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress, adding, "I'm in the process of putting my retirement plans together and I will have more about that very soon".
Conyers' attorney, Arnold Reed, confirmed to ABC News that the lawmaker meant retiring effective immediately. Ian Conyers, a MI state senator and the grandson of Conyers' brother, said he also plans to run for the seat held by his 88-year-old great-uncle.
"I am retiring today", Conyers said from a hospital in MI.
As allegations of sexual misconduct continue to swirl around him, several of Conyers' congressional colleagues encouraged him to resign.
"My legacy can't be compromised or diminished in any way by what we're going through now".
John Conyers Son and Heir Apparent Arrested for Felony Domestic Violence
He also complained that he was not being afforded due process to defend himself, and cited his health problems as another factor in his decision.
From left, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., confer before the start of a markup session on the Protecting Access to Care Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017.
The sexual harassment allegations against Conyers surfaced November 20 after BuzzFeed News reported he settled a wrongful dismissal complaint with an employee in 2015 for $27,000 in exchange for a confidentiality agreement and that he made advances toward female staffers, including requests for sexual favors, caressing their hands in a "sexually suggestive" way, and rubbing their legs and backs in an inappropriate manner while in the office or in public.
His accuser, former aide Marion Brown, recently told NBC's "Today" show that Conyers touched her inappropriately and invited her to a Chicago hotel room to discuss business before propositioning her for sex.
"We are here for due process", said the Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP.
According to a phone interview with The New York Times, the state senator was adamant that the elder Conyers was not resigning, but retiring instead.
Two women have come forward in recent weeks to say Conyers abused or harassed them when they worked for him. I'm a co-sponsor on all of them.
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