Detroit: City councilwoman Monica Conyers resigned from office Monday, days after admitting in court that she accepted bribes from a company in exchange for her vote on a lucrative city sludge-treatment contract.
Conyers, the wife of powerful Democratic congressman John Conyers who was voted into office in 2005 largely on his name, submitted her resignation in a letter to the city clerk’s office Monday. It will take effect July 6.
“I am glad she did the right thing and resign from the Detroit City Council,” Council President Ken Cockrel Jr. said in a statement. “Now we as a council and a city, can move on and forward in focusing on the vital issues our city faces — and we will.”
Monica Conyers did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment Monday.
She pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges Friday and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced. Conyers admitted she took bribes from Houston-based Synagro Technologies in exchange for her vote on a city contract. The council voted 5-4 in favor of the Synagro contract with Monica Conyers’ support.
Prosecutors made clear that John Conyers, the 80-year-old chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, knew nothing of his wife’s corruption.
Prosecutors said Monica Conyers accepted two payments in late 2007 from a Synagro Technologies official, Rayford Jackson, in exchange for supporting a 20-year, $47-million-a-year, contract that November to have Synagro recycle wastewater sludge and build a modern incinerator in a poor Detroit neighborhood.
The council voted 5-4 to approve the contract with Conyers’ vote. It was rescinded in January amid the accusations of wrongdoing.
Monica Conyers is the most prominent person snagged in the Synagro investigation. Jackson and the company’s Michigan representative, Jim Rosendall, also have pleaded guilty to bribery charges in the case. Rosendall’s plea agreement described how he distributed cash and other gifts to officials.