John Conyers is now the latest Democrat to face sexual assault charges, charges he paid off and covered-up, including telling women to ‘touch it”!
BuzzFeed reported late Monday night that multiple former staff members allege Conyers has repeatedly made sexual advances toward female staff.
One former employee said Conyers repeatedly asked her for sexual favors and often asked her to join him in a hotel room.
On one occasion, she alleges that Conyers asked her to “work out of his room” for the evening, but when she arrived the congressman started talking about his sexual desires. She alleged he then told her she needed to “touch it,” in reference to his penis, or find him a woman who would meet his sexual demands.
She alleged Conyers made her work nights, evenings, and holidays to keep him company.
In another incident, the former employee alleged the congressman insisted she stay in his room while they traveled together for a fundraising event. When she told him that she would not stay with him, she alleged he told her to “just cuddle up with me and caress me before you go.”
“Rep. Conyers strongly postulated that the performing of personal service or favors would be looked upon favorably and lead to salary increases or promotions,” the former employee said in the documents.
Three other staff members provided affidavits submitted to the Office Of Compliance that outlined a pattern of behavior from Conyers that included touching the woman in a sexual manner and growing angry when she brought her husband around.
Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to [his]sexual advances.”
Documents from the complaint include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized. They are from former staff members who state that Conyers repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff.
Those accusations included requests for sexual favors, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public.
Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic.
Speaker Paul Ryan said that allegations of serial sexual harassment against Conyers are “extremely troubling” and reiterated his support for reforming the system available to staff to report complaints.
The central woman in the case reportedly believed she had no other option than to remain quiet and take the settlement.
“I was basically blackballed. There was nowhere I could go,”
Her identity remains anonymous reportedly due to fears of retribution.
Conyers settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former staffer who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to his sexual advances.”
The settlement of more than $27,000 came from Conyers’s office budget, rather than the special fund operated by the Treasury Department for harassment and discrimination settlements handled by the congressional Office of Compliance.
Under the current process run by the Office of Compliance, victims must undergo months of counseling and mediation with the employing office before filing a complaint. They can either file a complaint in court or seek an administrative hearing that can lead to a monetary settlement.
In this case, one of Conyers’ former employees was offered a settlement, in exchange for her silence, that would be paid out of Conyers’ taxpayer-funded office budget.
Two staffers alleged in their signed affidavits that Conyers used congressional resources to fly in women they believed he was having affairs with. Another said she was tasked with driving women to and from Conyers’ apartment and hotel rooms.
Rep. Conyers did not admit fault as part of the settlement
His office would “rehire” the woman as a “temporary employee” despite her being directed not to come into the office or do any actual work, according to the document. The complainant would receive a total payment of $27,111.75 over the three months, after which point she would be removed from the payroll, according to the document.
The draft agreement viewed by BuzzFeed News was unsigned, but congressional employment records match the timing and amounts outlined in the document. The woman left the office and never went public with her story.
The process was “disgusting,” said Matthew Peterson, who worked as a law clerk representing the complainant, and who listed as a signatory to some of the documents.
“It is a designed cover-up,” said Peterson, who declined to discuss details of the case but agreed to characterize it in general terms. “You feel like they were betrayed by their government just for coming forward. It’s like being abused twice.”
It is disgusting. It is a cover-up. I demand that Conyers resign immediately.
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