Conyers' decision comes on the heels of a week in which key members of the Democratic caucus expressed their support for their colleague amidst calls for him to resign or otherwise face punishment. "Just because someone is accused - and was it one accusation?"
Buzzfeed reported on November 20 that Conyers had reached a settlement that exceeded $27,000 with a former staffer who alleged that the congressman had sexually harassed her and she was sacked because she rejected his advances.The following day, Buzzfeed reported that another of Conyers' former staffers had tried to sue him for making sexual overtures toward her and creating a hostile work environment, but the former staffer withdrew the claim when the court would not let the complaint remain sealed.
Democrat John Conyers, the longest-serving member of the US Congress and an iconic civil rights leader, said Sunday he is stepping down from a leadership position as he battles allegations of sexual harassment. "But I have come to believe that my presence as ranking member would not serve these efforts while the ethics committee investigation is pending".
"I very much look forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House committee on ethics", Conyers said.
Although Sloan recalls being "increasingly anxious and depressed " about going to work, like many victims of sexual assault on Capitol Hill, she was reluctant to report cases of sexual harassment for fear of being alienated (Sloan says she was once told she was "mentally unstable" for making such allegations against Conyers), or because the process of reporting to the Office of Compliance was too cumbersome".
Conyers added, "I would urge them to continue to do so for any Member accused of wrongdoing". The Michigan representative, she said, would "do the right thing". "That's for the Ethics Committee to review".
BuzzFeed broke the story last week that Conyers' office had paid an accuser $27,000 to settle a complaint that she had been fired after refusing his sexual advances. Do you? They have not really come forward.