DETROIT /December 4, 2017 (AP) (STL.News) - A relative says John Conyers, who is battling sexual harassment allegations from former female staffers, won't seek re-election to a 28th term in Congress. The New York Times was first to report the story.
Ian Conyers, the grandson of the Michigan Democrat's brother, told The New York Times he plans on announcing that he will not return to the House of Representatives after his term ends in 2018, mentioning his health as the reason for retiring.
"He is not resigning".
The group gathered Monday at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit for a rally in support of the 88-year-old Detroit Democrat.
The congressman "still enjoys healthy support in our district", Mr. Conyers said. When sexual-misconduct allegations surface in the private sector, a boss really can say "You're fired" - as Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and others can attest. Conyers, facing sexual misconduct allegations, has refused to step down even after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged the veteran Democrat from Detroit to do so.
The House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations of harassment and inappropriate touching by women who once worked for Conyers, including claims by Marion Brown who could testify later this week before the committee. BuzzFeed reported that Conyers' office paid the woman more than $27,000 in the confidential settlement.
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At the time, Reed said that it would be up to Conyers, and not other politicians, whether he ended a almost 53-year-long career in Congress. Conyers - a figure who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and employed Rosa Parks - was first elected in 1964. That was followed up by calls for resignation by three of the other four Democratic members of the U.S. House from Michigan - Reps.
"The important thing is he'll be there", Reed said of Conyers, who has been hospitalized since the middle of last week with unknown symptoms believed to be related to stress.
Elisa Grubbs made the allegation in an affidavit released late Monday by her attorney, Lisa Bloom.
The younger Mr. Conyers said that despite the accusations, he believes MI voters will reward his family's work in politics by electing him.
Conyers acknowledged that his office settled a harassment complaint involving a former staffer, but denies the allegations against him.