U.S. Representative John Conyers Jr. (D-Detroit) is retiring amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
In announcing his retirement Conyers also said that he would endorse his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress. Alongside Conyers III, his great nephew, Ian Conyers, plans to run as well.
“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now. This too shall pass…My legacy will continue through my children,” Conyers said according to a report from the Detroit Free Press.
The 88-year-old is retiring two weeks after a report from BuzzFeed detailed a secret settlement with a former staffer who accused him of making sexual advances toward her. The former staffer received $27,000 in the settlement which was paid to her from Conyers’ taxpayer-supported office. Following that, several other women came forward with accusations against Conyers and claimed they either experienced or saw him touching and rubbing women in his office, making sexual advances toward them, or making inappropriate remarks.
Responding to the accusations against him Conyers said “They’re not accurate, they’re not true and they’re something I can’t explain where they came from.”
Conyers was the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, along with being a longtime civil rights activist. Democratic leaders were initially protective of Conyers but as the number of accusations grew, members of his own party began calling for his leave.
“It is not easy for me to reach this conclusion because, as a civil rights activist, I have looked up to Rep. Conyers for decades. I believe these women, I see the pattern, and there is only one conclusion: Rep. Conyers must resign,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington state) said last week according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.