JULY 01, 2009
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee—Michigan Democrat John Conyers—abruptly reversed his opposition to a controversial hazardous waste project with financial ties to his corrupt city councilwoman wife.
A Washington D.C. newspaper reports that the veteran congressman, who chairs the House committee that oversees the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI, was vehemently opposed—along with fellow Michigan Congressman John Dingell—to the project in his district but later changed course to actually become one of its strongest advocates.
With the help of his crooked politician wife, Conyers even wrote the federal government a letter supporting the plan and pushing for the permit transfers required for the hazardous waste injection well in the city of Romulus, Michigan. The letter, addressed to the Environmental Protection Agency, explained that “many things had changed” in favor of the project since he stood in opposition to it.
Could some of those “things” have to do with his wife’s financial ties to the contractor? Earlier this week Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers pleaded guilty to bribery involving a different scandal, but her corrupt ways go deeper than that. The councilwoman was paid thousands of dollars to switch her vote on a multi million-dollar contract—she initially opposed—to haul and treat Detroit’s sewage sludge.
The cash was delivered in fast-food parking lots and the developer who bribed Monica Conyers recently pleaded guilty to paying her more than $6,000, using a courier on four separate occasions to deliver the money. The councilwoman subsequently resigned and faces up to five years in prison.
Monica Conyers’ aide, also under federal investigation, says his boss was tight and had financial ties with the contractor (Detroit businessman Dimitrios Papas) hired to perform the hazardous waste work that her husband initially opposed but later supported. Could it all be a coincidence?
John Conyers hasn’t been charged with a federal crime like his beloved wife, but a few years ago he was involved in a scandal of his own when he illegally forced congressional staffers to be personal servants and work on several state and local campaigns.
After a three-year “investigation” the House Ethics Committee took no action against Conyers, declaring that the lawmaker “accepted responsibility” for a series of House rules violations involving the abuse of his staffers. The ethics committee’s top Republican and Democratic members justified the panel’s inaction by declaring that Conyers acknowledged a “lack of clarity” in communicating what was expected of his official staff.
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