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  HOME | USA

Veteran Democratic Congressman Accused of Sexual Harassment Retires

WASHINGTON – Democratic Congressman John Conyers, recently accused of sexual harassment, and who has been a member of the US House of Representatives for 27 years, announced Tuesday his intention to retire immediately and consequently will not run for reelection in 2018, when he will support the candidacy of his own son.

The Michigan representative in Congress, who announced his decision on a small local radio station in his state, gave in at least partially to the pressure put on him over the past few days by members of his own party, who asked for his resignation because they saw the abused women’s accusations as credible.

Conyers has continually denied those accusations of sexual harassment, though his office acknowledged that in 2015 he paid $27,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim

His situation became insupportable in late November when it came to light that another settlement was paid to a different woman who accused the congressman of harassing her when she was working as his assistant.

On the basis of these revelations, Conyers, 88, had to be hospitalized due to a stress crisis, and from the clinic announced that he was temporarily leaving his position as the highest ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee while the case was being investigated.

However, that decision was insufficient for the Democratic minority leader of the lower house, Nancy Pelosi, who praised “the brave women who came forward” to accuse him and said he should resign immediately.

Finally, Conyers has chosen to step down at a time when an incredulous country watches waves of accusations pouring in practically every day against famous males from the worlds of politics and show business, and which has sparked a philosophy of zero tolerance.

Meanwhile, the Democrat recalled the importance of his legacy, which includes being one of the lawmakers who proposed the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

“I want you to know that my legacy will continue through my children. I have great family here and especially my oldest boy, John Conyers III, who incidentally I endorse to replace me in my seat in Congress,” Conyers said upon announcing his retirement.

 

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