Top Democrat Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accuser With $27K In Taxpayer Money
22 November, 2017, 01:39 | Author: Brenda Erickson
Democratic Rep. John Conyers of MI is "expressly and vehemently" denying any wrongdoing following reports being made public this week that he settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 after allegedly sexually harassing a staffer, according to an explosive report published Monday.
In the documents, the former staffer alleges Conyers repeatedly asked her for sexual favors, as well as asked her to join him in a hotel room. That should not be lost in the narrative.
The leaders of the House Ethics Committee said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that the panel was opening an investigation into the allegations, including whether Conyers used official resources for impermissible personal purposes. "Conyers-denies-sexual-harassment-settlements" target="_blank">Associated Press, said of the allegations. Conyers also said that he would cooperate with a congressional investigation, as some of his fellow House Democrats have already called for.
Conyers denied any wrongdoing in a statement on Tuesday and said that his office agreed on a settlement to avoid extended litigation for all the parties involved.
In a separate statement on Tuesday, the Congressional Black Caucus, which Conyers helped establish in 1971, said, "The Congressional Black Caucus' (CBC) position on sexual harassment and sexual assault is clear: no matter the perpetrator, no matter the victim, those responsible for sexual harassment and/or sexual assault must be held accountable". A spokesman for former House Speaker John Boehner told CNN that Boehner was "not aware" of the Conyers settlement "until Buzzfeed inquired about it" Monday.
In the statement, the caucus pointed out that its members had introduced and supported legislation calling for mandatory sexual harassment training for staff in Congress.
"Additional reforms to the system are under consideration as the committee continues its review", he said.
Ethics Chairwoman Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) and ranking member Theodore Deutch (D-Fla.) announced the start of a probe into Rep. John Conyers Jr. Jerry Nadler D-N.Y., said.
"People who work in the House deserve and are entitled to a workplace without harassment or discrimination", Ryan said, outlining the recent steps the House has made to combat sexual misconduct in Congress. If Democrats take control of the House in the 2018 midterms, Conyers is now poised to serve as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. BuzzFeed News first reported the bombshell allegations and accompanying settlement after right-wing blogger Mike Cernovich provided the website with the documents.
The report shines light on the opaque and complicated process for employees who file harassment or discrimination complaints on Capitol Hill.
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