U.S. Rep. John Conyers defends waste letter tied to wife's bribery scandal

U.S. Rep. John Conyers defends waste letter tied to wife's bribery scandal

John Conyers, left, and Monica Conyers

U.S. Rep. John Conyers today defended his apparent change of heart in support of a hazardous waste injection well in Romulus linked to a bribery scheme involving his wife, Monica Conyers.

Sam Riddle, a former aide to Monica Conyers, said yesterday that she secured Riddle a lucrative consulting job with Greektown businessman Dimitrios Papas in exchange for a $10,000 finder's fee. Later, U.S. Rep John Conyers wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency in support of Dimitrios Papas' efforts to restart the well.

Conyers today defended the letter, sending a statement to the Detroit Free Press.

Freep.com, June 30: Conyers' office said he "determined that this was something the EPA should reconsider" based "on the context of the congressman's representational duties to his constituents," including the Detroit police and firemen's pension board, which was heavily invested in the waste well operation.

But Conyers used a very different tone in 2003, when he joined Rep. John Dingell in opposition to the plan.

"We're trying to keep the God-given resources that this area is blessed with as healthy and as clean as possible," Conyers said at a public hearing in Romulus.

U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg on Friday said that John Conyers played no part in the bribery plot or subsequent investigation that brought down his wife.

"...the evidence offered no suggestion that United States Representative John Conyers, Ms.Conyers' husband, had any knowledge or role in Ms. Conyers' illegal conduct, nor did the Congressman attempt to influence this investigation in any way," Berg said.

Source : http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/06/us_rep_john_conyers_defends_wa.html

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