Democrats call for harassment probe of U.S. Representative Conyers

  • In US
  • 2017-11-21 21:35:41Z
  • By By Doina Chiacu
U.S. Representative Conyers addresses the audience during a program to announce the first round of loan commitments in Dearborn
U.S. Representative Conyers addresses the audience during a program to announce the first round of loan commitments in Dearborn  

By Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House of Representatives Democrats called for an investigation on Tuesday into allegations of sexual harassment against U.S. Representative John Conyers, who said his office had resolved a harassment case with a payment but no admission of guilt.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in a statement on fellow Democrat Conyers, said, "Any credible allegation of sexual harassment must be investigated by the Ethics Committee."

Earlier on Tuesday, Conyers, 88, issued a statement after a BuzzFeed News report cited allegations from former staffers that he made sexual advances to female staff.

The congressman from Michigan, one of America's most prominent black lawmakers, did not give details of the case but said he would fully cooperate in any investigation.

"In this case, I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me and continue to do so," Conyers said in a statement.

"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 statement said the resolution of the allegation was equal to a reasonable severance payment.

First elected in 1964, Conyers is the longest serving member of the House and a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Allegations against Conyers came to light as Congress reviews policies on how to handle sexual harassment complaints.

U.S. Representative Jackie Speier, a Democrat who has led the push in the House to revise those policies, also called for an investigation.

"The allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of congressional funds against Congressman Conyers are serious & require an immediate Ethics investigation," she said in a statement.

House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement earlier calling the latest news report "extremely troubling."

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu)


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