Michigan Rep. John Conyers acknowledges sex harassment settlement
By COREY WILLIAMS
The Associated Press
DETROIT — Longtime Michigan Rep. John Conyers acknowledged Tuesday that his office settled a harassment complaint involving a former staffer but said he “vehemently” denies the allegations against him.
His office “resolved the allegations” … “for an amount that equated to a reasonable severance payment,” the 88-year-old Detroit Democrat said in a statement.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said Tuesday that any credible allegations of sexual harassment against Conyers must be investigated by the House Ethics Committee.
“As Members of Congress, we each have a responsibility to uphold the integrity of the House of Representatives and to ensure a climate of dignity and respect, with zero tolerance for harassment, discrimination, bullying or abuse,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Conyers said he would fully cooperate with any such investigation.
BuzzFeed reported that Conyers’ office paid a woman more than $27,000 under a confidentiality agreement to settle a complaint in 2015 that she was fired from his Washington staff because she rejected his sexual advances.
BuzzFeed also published affidavits from former staff members who said they had witnessed Conyers touching female staffers inappropriately — rubbing their legs and backs — or requesting sexual favors. One former staffer said one of her duties was “to keep a list of women that I assumed he was having affairs with and call them at his request and, if necessary, have them flown in using Congressional resources.”
When questioned at his home Tuesday morning by The Associated Press, Conyers denied settling any harassment complaint and other allegations of inappropriate touching of staffers. The reporter repeated to Conyers the claims made in the BuzzFeed report.
“I have been looking at these things in amazement,” Conyers said, referring to allegations of sexual harassment and assault being made against politicians and others.
A statement from Conyers’ office said he was under […]