Be­sieged representative re­signs from Congress

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - WORLD NEWS - COREY WIL­LIAMS

DETROIT — Be­sieged by al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment, Demo­cratic Rep. John Cony­ers re­signed from Congress on Tues­day, bring­ing an abrupt end to the Detroit lib­eral’s nearly 52-year ca­reer in the House.

The 88-year-old civil rights leader be­comes the high­est-rank­ing fig­ure on Capi­tol Hill to be brought down by the sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions that have top­pled pow­er­ful men in Hol­ly­wood, the me­dia and pol­i­tics in re­cent weeks.

Cony­ers made the an­nounce­ment on a Detroit ra­dio talk show and en­dorsed his son, John Cony­ers III, to suc­ceed him.

“I’m in the process of putting my re­tire­ment plans to­gether,” the con­gress­man said from the hospi­tal where he was taken last week after he com­plained he felt light­headed. “I am re­tir­ing to­day.”

Shadawn Red­dick-Smith, Cony­ers’ spokes­woman, said the re­tire­ment was ef­fec­tive Tues­day.

“My legacy can’t be com­pro­mised or di­min­ished in any way by what we’re go­ing through now,” said Cony­ers, who has de­nied any wrong­do­ing. “This, too, shall pass. My legacy will con­tinue through my chil­dren.”

Cony­ers, who was first elected in 1964 and went on to be­come a found­ing mem­ber in 1971 of the Con­gres­sional Black Cau­cus, eas­ily won re-elec­tion last year in the heav­ily Demo­cratic district. Un­til Tues­day, he was the long­est-serv­ing cur­rent mem­ber of Congress.

But amid a drum­beat of al­le­ga­tions he groped or sex­ual ha­rassed women who worked for him, he faced grow­ing calls to re­sign from col­leagues in the House, in­clud­ing House Demo­cratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

As the furor grew in re­cent weeks, he stepped down as the rank­ing Demo­crat on the House Ju­di­ciary Committee.

Rep. Jer­rold Nadler, who re­placed Cony­ers as rank­ing mem­ber on the committee, said he was sad­dened by the res­ig­na­tion of his “friend and men­tor” but added: “There can be no tol­er­ance for be­hav­iour that sub­jects women to the kind of con­duct that has been al­leged.”

The House Ethics Committee had been re­view­ing the ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions.

Michi­gan state Sen. Ian Cony­ers, a grand­son of Cony­ers’ brother, told The New York Times he plans to run for the seat.

Cony­ers

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