Rep. John Conyers, who chairs the House Judiciary committee, has played a prominent role in recent years exposing executive-branch muck, from the US Attorneys scandal to torture. So it’s ironic that Conyers’ wife is caught up in some serious muck of her own.
The scandal has been brewing for a while, but it reached boiling point Monday, when Rayford Jackson, a Detroit businessman, admitted in a plea deal with prosecutors that he had bribed a council member in 2007, to gain approval for a $1.2-billion waste disposal contract. The Detroit Free Press had previously reported that the council member in question, described in court documents, is Monica Conyers.
Jackson’s brother, Lennie, is said by the Feds to have carried thousands of dollars in bribes to Conyers and her then-aide, Sam Riddle. And ominously for Conyers, Lennie Jackson is cooperating with authorities, according to court documents. Riddle, too, says he’ll tell what he knows “at the appropriate time” but that right now he hasn’t cut a deal with the Feds.
The president of the council has said he wants charges brought before Detroiters go to the polls in August for council elections.
Conyers is said to be in talks with the Feds about a plea deal of her own, which might allow her to avoid an indictment for corruption. She dodged reporters’ questions yesterday.