- A former staffer who worked for Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. has come forward to accuse the top lawmaker of inappropriate and abusive behaviour.
- She alleged that she was once summoned by Conyers and found him half-dressed.
- Her account follows other similar claims directed at Conyers.
For the first time, a former staff member of Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan has publicly come forward to allege that the top lawmaker contributed to a hostile work environment, according to a Washington Post report published Wednesday.
Melanie Sloan, who served with Conyers from 1995 to 1998, alleged in the report that she was verbally abused by Conyers, who is now the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. Within this time, Sloan said that she saw and experienced similar claims that were made public in recent days, after allegations of sexual misconduct began to emerge.
Sloan alleged that Conyers yelled at her and was critical of her appearance, according to The Post. She also said that at one point, she saw him in his underwear after she was summoned to his office, but said she did not believe she was sexually harassed.
“I was pretty taken aback to see my boss half-dressed,” Sloan said told The Post. “I turned on my heel and I left.”
Sloan said she repeatedly sought help from her supervisors, but was ignored, according to the newspaper.
“There was nothing I could do to stop it,” she said. “I was dismissed and told I must be mentally unstable.”
Conyers’ attorney denied Sloan’s allegations and told The Post that Conyers “has never done anything inappropriate to Melanie Sloan.”
The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation Tuesday, following a BuzzFeed News report that said Conyers had settled a wrongful dismissal complaint with a former employee who alleged she was fired for refusing his “sexual advances.”
Other reports soon emerged, including one employee who alleged Conyers had made inappropriate contact, such as “rubbing on her shoulders, kissing her forehead, making inappropriate comments, covering and attempting to hold her hand,” the Post said.
Conyers reportedly denied settling the sexual harassment cases, but later confirmed he had, adding that he still “vehemently denied the allegations.”