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Detroit Free Press: Conyers must go

Detroit Free Press: Conyers must go
© Camille Fine

The Detroit Free Press published an editorial calling for Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersHouse passes landmark bill to overhaul sexual harassment policy on Capitol Hill Wynn Resorts stock price plummets after sexual misconduct report CNN: Judges rarely face discipline for sexual harassment complaints MORE Jr. (D-Mich.) to resign in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations.

In an editorial published Tuesday, the editorial board wrote Conyers has a "long and complicated history" in Michigan and in Congress.

"He has been an undisputed hero of the civil rights movement, a legislator of uncommon influence and power, and an aging icon whose felonious wife and sometimes-wandering pace have confounded his place in history," the editorial said.

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"But the revelations of Conyers’ alleged sexual harassment scandal and his documented use of taxpayer dollars to bury that scandal, in violation of congressional ethics rules, is less ambiguous."

The editorial said that is the type of behavior that can "never be tolerated in public office."

"And it means that whatever Conyers’ legacy will eventually be, his tenure as a member of Congress must end — now," the editorial board wrote.

"He should resign his position and allow the investigation into his behavior to unfold without the threat that it would render him, and the people he now represents, effectively voiceless."

The Detroit Free Press wrote that it came to this conclusion with "an incredible amount of disappointment." The editorial board lauded Conyers as someone who played a key role in issues such as voting rights and health-care reform and has been a voice for social justice and equality.

"But even the most generous interpretation of the story revealed early this week is absolutely devastating to his ability to stay in Congress," the editorial board wrote.
 
The editorial board said Congress has a problem that must be resolved.

"John Conyers Jr. must go — after 53 years in Congress, after a stellar career of fighting for equality, after contributing so much to southeast Michigan and the nation," the editorial board wrote.

"It’s a tragic end to his public career. But it’s the appropriate consequence for the stunning subterfuge his office has indulged here, and a needed warning to other members of Congress that this can never be tolerated."

A report earlier this week said Conyers settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 after a former employee accused him of firing her for resisting his "sexual advances."

Four former staffers signed affidavits, three of which were notarized, saying that Conyers, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly engaged in unwanted sexual behavior with his female staff, BuzzFeed News reported Monday night. 

On Tuesday night, another woman alleged Conyers sexually harassed her.

Multiple people in recent weeks have come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against a growing number of political officials and media figures.