Thu, Dec 07, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Conyers quits over harassment claims

AP, DETROIT, Michigan

US Representative John Conyers on Tuesday resigned from Congress after a nearly 53-year career, becoming the first Capitol Hill politician to lose his job in the torrent of sexual misconduct allegations sweeping through the nation’s workplaces.

The 88-year-old civil rights leader and longest-serving member of the US House of Representatives announced what he referred to as his “retirement” on Detroit talk radio, while continuing to deny he groped or sexually harassed women who worked for him.

“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” said Conyers, who called into the radio show from the hospital where he was taken last week after complaining of lightheadedness.

“This, too, shall pass. My legacy will continue through my children,” he said.

He endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to succeed him.

Conyers, who was first elected in 1964 and went on to become a founding member in 1971 of the Congressional Black Caucus, easily won re-election last year to his 27th term in his heavily Democratic district in and around Detroit.

However, after being publicly accused by one woman after another in recent weeks, he faced growing calls to resign from colleagues in the House, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

As the furor grew, he stepped down as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and the Ethics Committee began investigating him.

It will be up to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican, to set a date for a special election to pick someone to serve out the remaining year in Conyers’ two-year term.

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