Longtime Michigan Rep. John Conyers, whose reputation plummeted after it emerged that he used taxpayer money to settle a wrongful dismissal complaint from a former employee who had refused to “succumb to (his) sexual advances,” intends to step down at the end of his term in 2019.
“He is not resigning — he is going to retire,” Conyers’ 29-year-old great-nephew, Ian Conyers, confirmed Tuesday morning to The New York Times. “His doctor advised him that the rigor of another campaign would be too much for him just in terms of his health.”
Ian Conyers, who currently serves as a Michigan state senator, further revealed he intends to run for his great-uncle’s seat next year.
“I’m absolutely going to file for his seat,” he said. “The work of our congressional district, where I come out of, has to continue.”
“We have got to have someone who has depth and experience but also historical understanding of what it takes to fight this type of evil in Washington,” he added.
When questioned about the allegations against his 88-year-old great-uncle, however, Ian Conyers refrained from condemning the congressman’s actions and claimed the retirement announcement was unrelated to the scandal.
“I stand with my uncle in terms of his belief of no specific wrongdoing,” said Ian Conyers, the grandson of John Conyers’ brother. “However, those things need to have their day in court.”
Speaking of court, on Monday yet another accuser filed an affidavit against John Conyers, alleging that he had sexually harassed her as well, according to NBC.
Former staffer Elisa Grubbs specifically alleged that Conyers had “inappropriately touched” her on several occasions and that she had witnessed him touching other women as well.
“Witnessing Rep. Conyers rub women’s thighs and buttocks and make comments about women’s physical attributes was a regular part of life while working in the Office of Rep. Conyers,” she stated in her affidavit, which was filed by attorney Lisa Bloom:
Congressman Conyers: women who worked for you deserved better.
This is the first of several affidavits I will be releasing describing allegations that you sexually harassed staffers and covered up complaints.
My client Marion Brown asks only for an acknowledgement and apology. pic.twitter.com/Shfh1dMXd2
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) December 5, 2017
According to The Associated Press, Grubs is the cousin of Marion Brown, the former ex-Conyers staffer who sparked the scandal when she went public about settling a sexual harassment allegation against Conyers despite a confidentiality agreement.
In a Twitter post, Conyers’ attorney, Arnold E. Reed, responded to the affidavit by deriding it as “nothing more than tomfoolery.”
“With regard to the latest #affidavit just released, this is nothing more than tomfoolery coming from the mouth of Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer and unworthy of further comment,” he wrote, taking aim at Bloom’s widely panned decision earlier this year to defend film producer Harvey Weinstein from similar allegations of sexual harassment and abuse.
With regard to the latest #affidavit just released, this is nothing more than tomfoolery coming from the mouth of Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer and unworthy of further comment.
— Arnold E. Reed (@ArnoldReedEsq) December 5, 2017
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