Longtime Detroit liberal Rep. John Conyers resigned today, ending his 53-year career as a politician. The 88-year old founding member of the Black Caucus has become the latest and highest ranking figure in Washington to be brought down by sexual scandal.
Until Tuesday he was the longest-serving member of Congress, first elected in 1964. He announced his “retirement” on Mildred Gaddis’ Detroit talk radio show. He has endorsed his son to succeed him.
The former Congressman has denied any wrongdoing, but has faced calls to resign by members of his own party, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Female staffers have stated that his sexual assaults occurred frequently.
On Monday, a longtime female staffer of Conyer’s, Elisa Grubbs, added to the field of allegations, claiming that he touched her inappropriately during a church sermon. “I was startled and sprang to my feet and exclaimed, ‘He just ran his hand up my thigh!’ Other staffers witnessed the event,” she said in an affidavit.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said he was upset by the resignation of his “friend and mentor” but sternly clarified: “There can be no tolerance for behavior that subjects women to the kind of conduct that has been alleged.”
Democrats are searching for a new candidate to fill the longtime Democrat’s seat in the House.