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Rep. Conyers announces he's retiring, endorses son to fill seat

06 December 2017

Conyers, has admitted to paying a settlement to a former staffer but denies her sexual harassment allegations.

Conyers announced what he referred to as his "retirement" on a Detroit radio talk show, calling in from the hospital where he was taken last week after complaining of light-headedness.

He said he's endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress. Conyers faced calls to resign following reports that he reached a $27,000 settlement with a former aide who said she was sacked for rejecting his sexual advances.

Conyers' attorney, Arnold Reed, said Friday the congressman will decide in the next few days whether to resign, stay in office through the end of his term, or seek re-election next year. He said he plans to run for John Conyers' seat in Washington, D.C.

Conyers, the longest serving member of the House of Representatives, will announce on Tuesday he does not plan to run for re-election, US media said following accusations of sexual harassment against the Michigan Democrat.

"My legacy can't be compromised, or diminished in any way by what we are going through now", Conyers said.

Conyers has been facing calls to step down since it was revealed last month he paid a cash settlement out of office funds to a woman who claims he sexually harassed her.

Elisa Grubbs made the allegation in an affidavit released late Monday by her attorney, Lisa Bloom.

News of Conyers' departure comes amid a firestorm of sexual misconduct allegations made against other members of Congress, including Sen. "This too shall pass", he said, speaking on the Mildred Gaddis Show. We don't condone sexual harassment on any level, ' he said.

According to Grubbs' statement, Conyers called her and Brown the "Big Leg Cousins", and once came out of the bathroom of his home completely naked in front of Grubbs.

His lawyer earlier said on Twitter that Conyers would make an announcement at 10:15 a.m.

Conyers is one of four sitting U.S. lawmakers hit by allegations of sexual misconduct in the wake of the claims targeting movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, which triggered a torrent of accusations against powerful figures in the worlds of entertainment, media and politics.

FILE - In this May 24, 2016, file photo, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington during a hearing.

They said the congressman is entitled to due process. Conyers has denied all the allegations, and on Tuesday, wrote the accusations off as "politics".

Last week, minority leader Nancy Pelosi said Conyers should step down.

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 past year to his 27th term in the heavily Democratic district.

Rep. Conyers announces he's retiring, endorses son to fill seat