Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rep. Conyers' wife declared indigent by court, taxpayers to pay her legal fees

"This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history." - Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Press Release, November 16, 2006.

Part of that leadership is Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Last week his wife Monica, who is the former president pro tempore of the Detroit City Council, was sentenced to three years in prison for her role in a bribery scandal--she pleaded guilty last year. But Monica tried to renege on her plea shortly before her sentencing. And that could cost taxpayers in Michigan and beyond. Her flip-flop means that her case continues--and a federal judge has--get this, declared Ms. Conyers indigent--so in the words of the Detroit News, "a tax-funded public defender" will represent her.

Chairman Conyers makes $170,000 a year. But according the the News, federal law dictates that the income of family members doesn't figure into such rulings.

But of course it's quite likely that the chairman of the committee that overseas federal prisons could pay Monica's legal bills if he wanted to pay. Maybe the pol-power couple is too smart for that--using other people's money is the cheap way to go. A staffer for Chairman Conyers wouldn't say why John won't be footing the bill for his wife's defense.

Monica's lawyer asked to withdraw from the case after the sentencing.

As a News columnist reported last week, the chairman signed an ethics form that neither Conyers accepted a gift worth more than $335--but a contractor paid the private school tuition for one of their sons.

Conyers' ethical problems are nothing new. Here's what the New York Post wrote in 2007:

After a probe lasting more than three years, the (Ethics) committee declared that Conyers has "accepted responsibility" for a series of House rules violations involving the use - and abuse - of his staffers.

According to published reports, Conyers used several staffers as his personal servants - requiring them to babysit and tutor his children, chauffeur him to personal events, help his wife with her law-school classes, work on his campaigns and pay restaurant and motel bills.

One staffer was even ordered to move into Conyers' home for six weeks and serve as a live-in nanny to his kids.
As I wrote on Sunday, it's time for the House Ethics Committee take a closer look at the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

After all, Speaker Pelosi promised the "most open, and most ethical Congress in history."

I'm not going to let up on this story.

And how come so few people are angry about the two Conyers crapping on taxpayers?

Related posts:

House Ethics Committee: Please investigate John Conyers

Lots of Michigan news: Rep. Cheeks Kilpatrick subpoenaed by grand jury--and more

Rep. John Conyers' wife sentenced to 37 months in federal prison

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CEW said...

She wouldn't be indigent according to the FAFSA process!! Outrageous.

edi fikes said...

Wall Street bankers and spectators fail capitalism, taxpayers to pay for resuscitation.

Mid-east wars deemed excessive and dangerously antagonistic by taxpayers, taxpayers to pick up the bill.