Michigan Rep. John Conyers' alleged sexual harassment cover-up detailed in report

by

comment
COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
Michigan Rep. John Conyers has joined the growing list of powerful men accused of sexual harassment in recent weeks.

According to documents obtained and verified by BuzzFeed News, Conyers — a Democrat and longest-serving member of the House of Representatives — used his office budget to settle a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015.



The complaint came from a former employee who believed she was fired because she would not give in to Conyers' repeated advances, which included asking for sexual favors and asking her to join him in a hotel room. According to the documents, the woman signed a confidentiality agreement in exchange for a settlement of more than $27,111.75. On paper, Conyers' office then "rehired" the woman as a "temporary employee" who did not do any actual work.

"I was basically blackballed," the woman, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, told BuzzFeed News. "There was nowhere I could go."



In signed affidavits obtained by BuzzFeed, other former staffers alleged that Conyers used congressional resources to fly in women they believed he was having affairs with, while another said she was tasked with driving women to and from Conyers’ apartment and hotel rooms.

According to BuzzFeed, the documents were provided by alt-right figure Mike Cernovich, who did not want to publish them himself because he feared the story would be discredited.

When asked by a reporter from The Associated Press Tuesday morning, Conyers denied knowledge of the sexual harassment claims and settlements, saying he learned of the story just hours earlier and "has been looking at these things with amazement."

Congress’s Office of Compliance paid out $17 million for 264 settlements with federal employees over the past two decades, according to the Washington Post.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.