Conyers aide allegedly ordered politicking

Dec. 3, 2004 at 2:39 PM
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DETROIT, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- An aide to U.S. Rep. John Conyers allegedly ordered his staff to drop their normal workload in favor of campaigning, possibly violating congressional rules.

Marion Brown, Conyers' Detroit office deputy chief of staff, allegedly left a voicemail Oct. 19 for multiple employees in the Detroit office saying: "I have a message from the congressman, and I thought I'd give you a heads up to, see, Carol Patton. He has her calling everybody to get the message, so I thought she might not have called you, so I did, I am.

"The congressman ... what he wants is for all his staff to work on the campaign at least several hours today so he has asked ... to open the Dearborn campaign office and the Detroit office, and so you're to go over to the campaign office in Dearborn and we're going to get more information, but he just wants to do campaigning, calling people, whatever."

When a Detroit Free Press reporter read a transcript of the message to Brown and asked for comment, he responded: "I don't remember, and ... anything I have done has not been on congressional time and people have comp time, and I didn't hear that I demanded anybody. ... I don't have any comments right now."

Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, has been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee since January for using government resources to solicit campaign contributions and canvass for votes.

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