Sexual harassment report on John Conyers 'extremely troubling,' Paul Ryan says


Rep. John Conyers speaks alongside senators and members of the MI congressional delegation during a rally to stand up to Republicans and to save healthcare at Macomb Community College on Sunday, January 15, 2017 in Warren.

He told The Associated Press he hasn't settled any sexual harassment complaints with any staff members, adding he did not know about claims of inappropriate touching and learned of the story just hours earlier.

This news comes to light as it has been widely reported that the government has paid more than $17 million in taxpayer money over the last 20 years to "resolve" claims of sexual harassment and other workplace violations that are filed by congressional employees. The process gives them 180 days to report a sexual harassment incident to the Office of Compliance, which triggers a process that includes counseling and mediation, along with the confidentiality agreement.

"For over 50 years, the voters of Detroit have placed their trust in him, and he has repaid that trust with repeated allegations of corruption and the revelation that he used $27,000 of their taxes to cover up his sexual misconduct", she said.

Michigan's Democratic Rep. John Conyers settled a sexual harassment claim with a former employee in 2015 for more than $27,000, in a congressional system created to keep these types of allegations secret, BuzzFeed News reported.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says it's "deeply troubling" that the MI lawmaker settled the complaint, and that the House is changing its procedures for handling charges of harassment and discrimination, which have been called too weak and cumbersome. "People who work in the House deserve and are entitled to a workplace without harassment or discrimination".

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Luther Strange in the September 26 primary to determine Sessions' successor and campaigned in the state, a Republican stronghold. But, she said, she did confide in close friends immediately after the incident and told family members later as an adult.

Conyers' former staffer, whose name is not revealed by BuzzFeed, filed the complaint with the Office of Compliance in 2014, which was set up in the 1990s to handle workplace disputes on Capitol Hill. Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong confirmed it was directed at the Michigan Democrat.

On Tuesday morning, Conyers denied making any sexual harassment settlement and said he knew nothing of the claims. He's top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. "Rep. Conyers strongly postulated that the performing of personal service or favors would be looked upon favorably and lead to salary increases or promotions", one former employee said in an affidavit.

U.S. Rep. John Conyers allegedly settled a wrongful dismissal complaint with a former employee who accused him of firing her for refusing his "sexual advances".

BuzzFeed says it received the documents from right-wing activist Mike Cernovich, but independently confirmed their authenticity.

Conyers office has not responded to CNN's multiple requests for comment.