After Harassment Settlement Revealed, Conyers Releases Statement

After Harassment Settlement Revealed, Conyers Releases Statement

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Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the current ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, released a statement after a report in Buzzfeed on November 20 detailed a settlement regarding alleged sexual harassment by the Congressman. Conyers is 89 years old and has served in Congress since 1965. 

“I have long been and continue to be a fierce advocate for equality in the workplace and I fully support the rights of employees who believe they have been harassed or discriminated against to assert claims against their employers. That said, it is important to recognize that the mere making of an allegation does not mean it is true. The process must be fair to both the employee and the accused. The current media environment is bringing a much-needed focus to the important issue of preventing harassment in workplaces across the country. However, equally important to keep in mind in this particular moment is the principle of due process and that those accused of wrongdoing are presumed innocent unless and until an investigation establishes otherwise. In our country, we strive to honor this fundamental principle that all are entitled to due process. In this case, I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so. My office resolved the allegations – with an express denial of liability – in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation. That should not be lost in the narrative. The resolution was not for millions of dollars, but rather for an amount that equated to a reasonable severance payment. There are statutory requirements of confidentiality that apply to both the employee and me regarding this matter. To the extent the House determines to look further at these issues, I will fully cooperate with an investigation.”

Reps. Gerold Nadler and Zoe Lofgren released statements asking for Ethics investigations of John Conyers’ actions around the alleged settlement. 

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer, comms strategist and political analyst. She created Crewof42 in 2009. The blog focuses on African American members of Congress and Black political power regardless of party. Ms. Burke also writes for NBC BLK, The Root, NNPA and is the Managing Editor of Politic365. As part of a diverse career in politics and media, she has also served as a congressional staffer for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) and Director of Communications for Justin Fairfax of Lt. Governor of Virginia. She appears each Monday on weekly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin on TVOne. Ms. Burke holds a B.A. in History from The American University. Email: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @LVBurke.

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