DETROIT (AP) — U.S. Rep. John Conyers — beset with allegations of sexual harassment by former staff members — announced Tuesday that he is retiring.
The 88-year-old Conyers made the announcement while speaking with Detroit radio talk show host Mildred Gaddis. He was not clear on when the retirement becomes effective. Conyers also endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in office.
“I’m in the process of putting my retirement plans together,” he said from a hospital. “I am retiring today.”
“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” Conyers added. “This too shall pass. My legacy will continue through my children.”
Michigan State Sen. Ian Conyers, a grandson of John Conyers’ brother, told The New York Times for a story Tuesday that he plans to run for the 13th District congressional seat.
Conyers, who was first elected in 1964, easily won re-election last year in the heavily Democratic district. But following the mounting allegations of sexual harassment, he has faced growing calls to resign from colleagues in the House, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Rep. Conyers’ attorney, Arnold Reed, has said Rep. Conyers’ health would be the paramount consideration in whether he decides to step down from his House seat. He has already stepped aside from his position as ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs committee.
Rep. Conyers returned to Detroit from Washington last week and was hospitalized on Wednesday, Nov. 29, after complaining that he felt light-headed.
The House Ethics Committee has been reviewing allegations of harassment against Rep. Conyers.
On Monday, Dec. 4, a woman who said she worked for him for more than a decade said he slid his hand up her skirt and rubbed her thighs while she was sitting next to him in the front row of a church.
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