Lawyer: Conyers Called Me to His Office While Half Naked
Rep. Conyers faces new accusations, first call from Democratic colleague to step down
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2017 7:05 PM CST
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In this Nov. 1, 2014 file photo, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., speaks at Wayne State University in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

(Newser) – A Washington DC ethics lawyer says Rep. John Conyers once called her to his office while he was dressed only in his underwear and otherwise harassed her while she served as minority council for the House Judiciary Committee in the 90s, the Washington Post reports. Melissa Sloan, the first former Conyers staffer to go on the record, didn't characterize the Michigan Democrat's behavior toward her as sexual harassment but did say she witnessed the types of behavior he's been accused of elsewhere. She says Conyers criticized her appearance and verbally abused her. Sloan says she asked congressional leadership for help but was ignored. “There was nothing I could do to stop it,” she said Wednesday. "I was dismissed and told I must be mentally unstable.”

The House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into Conyers on Tuesday after it was reported this week that he settled a former employee's sexual harassment claims against him for $27,000 in 2015. Other former staffers have said in affidavits they've seen Conyers rubbing the backs and legs of female employees and asking for sexual favors. Also on Wednesday, Rep. Kathleen Rice became the first Democratic representative to call for Conyers to resign. "I've reviewed the allegations against him, and they're as credible as they are repulsive," USA Today quotes New York's Rice as saying in a statement. Conyers has denied all accusations against him. The 88-year-old is the longest-serving current House member.

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