Sunday saw Michigan Republican, John Conyers, stepping down as the House Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat. Yet he continued to deny all allegations related to inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment.
Conyers made a statement that in the backdrop of the all the recent accusations against him, he has taken the decision to step down as one of the House Judiciary Committee’s ranking members for the duration of the case investigation.
Conyers denies allegations
Conyers, who is 88 years old, was recently struck with numerous allegations related to poor behavior as a Congress member. The House Ethics Committee is currently investigating these allegations.
According to Buzzfeed, popular news website, the officials working for Conyers made a payment of over $27,000 to a woman in order to dismiss a complaint made against Conyers in 2015. This was, of course, a strictly confidential agreement. The complaint was regarding Conyers firing the woman from the Washington office because she had not played along with his forced sexual advances.
On the day following the news, the House of Ethics Committee made an announcement that detailed investigation into the Conyers case had begun. They had received allegations of age discrimination and sexual harassment that involved staff members. These complaints accused congressmen of using official resources to fulfill personal needs.
Lawyer also accuses Conyers of misconduct
In the later part of the week, a lawyer named Melanie Sloan said that John Conyers had once called her to the office to discuss some matter and he was dressed only in an underwear. Sloan had worked with the Congressman as part of the House Judiciary Committee. Though Sloan had been working with the committee back in the 90s, there is little clarity with regards to when the incident occurred.
Sloan added that Conyers would frequently scream at her, and there were several episodes of firing and re-hiring throughout her employment. He would criticize her for her dressing and also went to the extent of ordering her to be a babysitter for his child once.
Following Conyers’ announcement, Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, said that no tolerance implies consequences. She said that she was a woman as well as a mother and would take any sexual harassment accusations quite seriously.
She added that it was critical for the House of Ethics Committee to review all credible accusations, regardless of the accused person’s legacy. Nobody owns a license for sexual harassment.