First House Dem calls on Conyers to resign

First House Dem calls on Conyers to resign
© Greg Nash

Rep. Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura RiceSelect committee member thanks officers who responded Jan. 6: 'You were our last line of defense' Overnight Health Care: White House signals new COVID-19 strategy as delta variant spreads | McConnell urges vaccinations | Maryland says all COVID-19 deaths last month were among unvaccinated House moderates signal concerns with Pelosi drug pricing bill MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday became the first House Democrat to call on Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersThe faith community can help pass a reparations bill California comes to terms with the costs and consequences of slavery Democrats debate timing and wisdom of reparations vote MORE (D-Mich.) to resign in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. 

“Rep. John Conyers should resign. I’ve reviewed the allegations against him, and they’re as credible as they are repulsive,” she said in a statement.

Conyers reportedly settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former staffer who alleged she was fired because she didn't succumb to his sexual advances. Former staffers also alleged that Conyers made unwanted sexual advances toward his female aides.

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Conyers has admitted he took part in a settlement with a former female employee who accused him of sexual misconduct in order to avoid litigation in 2015, but denied the allegations. He said he settled the matter to avoid litigation.

A former scheduler for Conyers also alleged he rubbed her shoulders, kissed her forehead and attempted to hold her hand.

The House Ethics Committee announced Tuesday it has begun an investigation into the allegations against Conyers.

“If men who engage in this behavior suffered real repercussions, more victims would speak up – and maybe other men would decide to act like decent, civilized adults and not prey on women who work for and trust and admire them,” Rice said.

“Whether it happened 40 years ago or last week, settlement or no settlement, Democrat or Republican – harassment is harassment, assault is assault,” she continued. “We all know credible allegations when we hear them, and the same is true of hypocrisy.”

Rep. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksUS delegation departs Haiti after reports of gunshots at ex-president's funeral Biden announces delegation to attend Haitian president's funeral Critical race theory becomes focus of midterms MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday called for Conyers, the chamber's longest serving current member, to step down from his post as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.