Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) said on Tuesday that he’s retiring “today” and thanked those who have supported him in the wake of allegations by several women who claimed he made unwelcome sexual advances.
Conyers has denied any wrongdoing, despite reports that one former staffer was paid a $27,000 settlement for charges of sexual harassment in 2015.
“I am retiring today,” Conyers said. “And I want everyone to know how much I appreciate the support that…incredible, undiminished support I’ve received across the years of my supporters, not only in my district but across the country as well.”
The New York Post reported:
Conyers made the announcement Tuesday morning from a Detroit hospital during a phone interview on “The Mildred Gaddis Show” on 102.7 FM, in which he said the accusations against him will “absolutely not” affect his legacy.
“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” Conyers said. “This too shall pass. My legacy will continue through my children.”
Conyers, 88, has been hospitalized in recent days for what his staff has said is stress-related health issues.
In the radio interview Conyers endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him, CNN reported.
Conyers’ great-nephew, 29-year old Michigan state Senator Ian Conyers, told CBS News’ Jonathan Blakely he would also be running for the elder Conyers’ seat in a special election that will be ordered by the Michigan governor.
Last month Conyers announced he was stepping down from his ranking member seat on the House Judiciary Committee.
“After careful consideration and in light of the attention drawn by recent allegations made against me, I have notified the Democratic Leader of my request to step aside as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee during the investigation of these matters,” Conyers said.
Conyers is the longest-serving member in the House.