New Conyers accuser comes forward with sexual harassment claim

New Conyers accuser comes forward with sexual harassment claim
© Greg Nash

A former staffer in a state office of Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersAbortion-rights group endorses Nadler in race to replace Conyers on Judiciary Democrats turn on Al Franken Michigan state senator to run for Congress MORE Jr. accused the Michigan Democrat of sexual misconduct in a story published early Tuesday by The Detroit News.

Deanna Maher, who worked for Conyers from 1997 to 2005, told the newspaper that Conyers made unwanted sexual passes on three occasions.

“I didn’t report the harassment because it was clear nobody wanted to take it seriously,” Maher said. “John Conyers is a powerful man in Washington, and nobody wanted to cross him.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Maher said Conyers propositioned her to stay in his hotel room on one occasion and on two others touched her inappropriately.

A reporter from another Detroit newspaper confirmed to The Detroit News that Maher previously discussed Conyers’s alleged actions with him, but declined to go on the record.

A lawyer for the congressman, Arnold Reed, cast doubt on the new claims.

“At best, they are uncorroborated. At worst, they’re just not believable,” Reed told The Detroit News.

“At the end of the day, he’s confident that he will be exonerated because he maintains that he has not done anything wrong,” Reed added.

Conyers earlier this week stepped down from his position as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee after acknowledging that he settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015, but denied the sexual harassment allegations made against him.

The House Ethics Committee last week said it opened an investigation into the allegations against Conyers.