Buzzfeed came out with a report on Monday that Democratic Representative John Conyers, settled a complaint in 2015 from a former staffer who claimed she was fired after rejecting the lawmaker’s sexual advances. As if the sexual harassment charge is not enough, the report says Conyers compounded his sin by using public funds to settle the payout.
A woman in 2014 filed a complaint with Congress’s Office of Compliance against Conyers, the longest-serving member of Congress. The woman accused Conyers of repeatedly asking her for sexual favors. She also claimed that the Democratic lawmaker fired her in the end because “she would not succumb to his sexual advances.”
In the Buzzfeed report, the woman shared that Conyers once asked her to work out of his room for the evening. When she reported for work, the lawmaker was apparently not interested with job-related stuff. Instead, all he talked about was his sexual desires. She alleged that he even told her that she “needed to touch it”, referring to his private part. She also said that he added if she could not do as requested, she then should find him another woman who would fulfill his sexual demands.
The woman further alleged that Conyers forced her to work nights and even during holidays to keep him company. In one occasion, she alleged that he insisted that she stay in his room while they traveled together for a fund-raising event. When she refused, she alleged that he shot back, ‘just cuddle up with me before you go.’
Documents filed state that according to the complainant, Conyers strongly suggested that performing “personal favors” for him would result to salary increases or promotions.
The woman was not alone as the complaint includes four signed affidavits from other former staff or Conyers containing other allegations of sexual harassment.
The documents were first given to alt-right Mike Cernovic, who’s known to be behind the “Pizzagate.” Cernovich said he turned over the documents to BuzzFeed so he won’t be questioned for his agenda. In turn, Buzzfeed says it confirmed the authenticity of the documents with the four people involved in the complaint.
The woman said she felt then that she had no choice but to just accept the settlement, or else face retribution from her abuser.
The woman was made to sign a confidentiality agreement and offered a $27,111.75 settlement in exchange for her silence on the matter. Conyers also did not admit guilt then. But the money used for the settlement did not come from the personal, private pockets of Conyers but from a special U.S. Treasury fund. In Conyers’ attempt to make it appear legal, the office rehired the woman-complainant as a “temporary employee.” She received a total of $27, 111.15 for three months without having to report for work at all. Only when the settlement was completed was she removed from the payroll.
Conyers has yet to answer the allegations, but such report leaves an unsettling feeling among many because if proven true, Conyers used public funds to civer up his own transgressions.