Top Democrat Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accuser With $27K In Taxpayer Money

The government has paid more than $17 million in taxpayer money over the last 20 years to resolve claims of sexual harassment overtime pay disputes and other workplace violations

BuzzFeed News spoke to the woman who filed the wrongful termination complaint against Conyers with the congressional Office of Compliance in 2014, but it did not name her because she is concerned about retribution.

Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersBipartisan duo offer criminal justice reform legislation Voter suppression, the blueprint to a broken democracy Trump's North Korea strategy requires an intervention from Congress MORE (D-Mich.), the longest-serving current House member, reportedly settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 after a former employee accused him of firing her for resisting his "sexual advances".

Conyers has served in Congress since 1965 and is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Congress' Office of Compliance has in the past settled such accusations in exchange for confidentiality, but who had been implicated had never been reported.

The affidavits describe Conyers making advances toward female staffers that included requests for sexual favors, caressing their hands in a "sexually suggestive" way, and rubbing their legs and backs in an inappropriate manner while in the office or in public.

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., did not immediately provide comment Monday. The Michigan lawmaker did not admit fault in the settlement deal.

In the affidavits obtained by BuzzFeed, former employees described several instances in which Conyers asked women for sexual favors, including one instance when a woman said he invited her to his hotel room and asked her to "touch it", meaning his penis.

He also allegedly abused taxpayer funds to shuttle in women with whom he had sexual relationships.

Another former employee recalled a similar incident, in which Conyers asked her to "just cuddle up with me and caress me before you go" after she refused his request to stay with him overnight after traveling to a fundraising event.

He also had a staff member arrange for women to fly in for affairs using congressional resources, according to the report that BuzzFeed verified independently corroborating documents.

Conyers allegedly responded by saying he would work on it, but then complained publicly to others that he wished this staffer would stop putting things in writing.

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