MENU

Opinion: Rep. John Conyers should be held fully accountable for his actions

AP17330642949490.jpg
FILE - In this May 24, 2016, file photo, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington during a hearing. Conyers said he is stepping aside as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee amid a congressional investigation into allegations he sexually harassed female staff members. In a statement Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, Conyers said he denies the allegations and would like to keep his leadership role on the panel. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The Democrat dean of the House of Representatives is in trouble again.

Congressman John Conyers has admitted that he used his Member Representational Allowance to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by a staffer.

The payment was masked as severence.

Conyers denies the allegations of harssment against him.

The Member Representational Allowance is funded by you, the taxpayer. It is supposed to pay for staff and office operation – not settlement payouts.

This is a gross misuse of public funds coupled with an attempted coverup. We cannot have our elected officials behaving this way.

The House Committee on Ethics is now going to investigate Conyers. That probe should not be toothless like the previous inquiries into Congressman Conyers’ behavior have been.

In 2006, the same House Ethics Committee investigated Conyers for using his tax payer paid congressional staff as personal assistants - babysitting his children and running errands. No action against Conyers was taken.

In 2016, the Office of Congressional Ethics investigated Conyers for continuing to pay his chief of staff for 6 months after she plead guilty to the crime of receiving stolen property. Conyers refused to cooperate with the probe but, again, his standing was not impacted.

Here is the bottom line: Conyers has now stepped down as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. That should not, however, enable him to escape a full investigation and thorough scrutiny. John Conyers should no longer be treated with kid gloves.