Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the Dean of the House and the most powerful African American elected official in Michigan, announced he will resign from Congress effective today, December 5, 2017.
Conyers has been dealing with controversy after several allegations of sexual harassment were made by former staff members.
Speaking with legendary talk radio host Mildred Gaddis on 102.7 Praise in Detroit, Conyers’ attorney Arnold Reed, who was with Rep. Conyers at a hospital, moderated the discussion with Gaddis.
“I am retiring effective today,” Conyers said late in the interview with Gaddis. He endorsed John Conyers III to replace him in Congress.
“I first wanted to acknowledge the incredible support my attorney Arnold Reed has given me,” Conyers said. “My family is doing well,” Conyers added.
“My legacy can not be compromised and diminished in any way… my legacy will continue through my children, particularly through John Conyers III who I have chosen to replace me in Congress,” Conyers said.
“I’ve been through this with other people for many years, this is the reason why I joined the House Judiciary Committee,” said Conyers when asked about the issue of the lack of due process regarding sexual harassment complaints.
“We tajke these in stride. This goes with the game of politics. We take what happens and we deal with it,” said Conyers when asked how the sexual harassment allegations impacted him by Gaddis.
Arnold Reed has also represented Aretha Franklin and R. Kelly. Reed confirmed Conyers is still in the hospital but would not name which hospital the resigning Congressman is located at.
On December 4, at the Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, supporters of Rep. Conyers, held a “due process” rally. Over 200 community leaders, activists and clergy stated support for Conyers but were careful not to be critical of any of the women who have come forward accusing the Congressman of sexual harassment.
“I’m in the process of putting my retirement plans together and I will announce that very soon,” Conyers added at the end.
Conyers has been in Congress for 52 years. He was elected in 1964. He is the last World War II generation member of the Congressional Black Caucus.