Conyers used staff as personal servants

Three former aides to U.S. Rep. John Conyers say the lawmaker used them as baby sitters and personal servants while they were supposed to be working in his Michigan offices.

The aides said that Conyers had them tutor and care for his two sons; help his wife, now-City Councilwoman Monica Conyers, with law studies; and drive him to political and private events.

The accusations come from Deanna Maher, former chief of Conyers’ office in Southgate; Sydney Rooks, Conyers’ lawyer from 1997 to 2000; and Dean Christian Thornton, a legislative aide fired in January, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Maker said that in 1998, Conyers ordered her to live in his Detroit house while his wife attended law classes in Oklahoma. Maher said she lived there for six weeks, caring for the couple’s two young sons.

Maher and Thornton have written to the House Ethics Committee. Rooks said she talked to committee staffers on the subject in 1999 and 2004 and plans to make a formal complaint soon.

"I’m not going to get into responding to these things," said Stanley Brand, an attorney for Conyers.

Brand said Conyers responded to ethics committee questions when it considered some of the same allegations two years ago.

Conyers, 76, has served in the House since 1965. The Democrat is the senior minority member of the House Judiciary Committee.

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