Monica Conyers, now a convicted felon, has resigned from her position from the Detroit City Council.
Wife of the powerful and much respected Democratic congressman John Conyers (and drafter of the pay-to play radio bill HR 848 currently under consideration by Congress), the City Councilwoman gave up her seat without any type of struggle. She was also given an extra push by a group of six council members that advised her resignation or be ousted by them.
A letter of resignation from Conyers was received Monday morning by Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey. This sudden transition comes from Conyers, 44, admitting Friday that she was obtaining funds from a Houston company, Synagro Technologies, in exchange for her vote in regards to a $47 million, sledge-treatment contract.
The one-paragraph letter was brought by a staffer that announced her resignation after she had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery three days prior, according to Associated Press.
Upon hearing the news, Council President Ken Cockrel, Jr. called Monday morning to have her step down from her position. More pressure was applied from Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox when he threatened to forcefully move her through means of the court if she didn’t resign by Tuesday.
More than a year ago, former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick came under the same type of pressure to resign after being involved with the text-messaging sex scandal. She would be the only one to vote against him resigning, but she could only sit back and watch as Kilpatrick lost the fight and would end up in jail as the vote was one-sided, 7-1.
As she steps down, a major transition in power will take into effect for the remainder of the year.
With the departure of Conyers, Ken Cockrel, Jr has returned, who had been absent from the council close to eight months as he was serving as they mayor. The balance of power, as a result, has shifted to moderates who are less insistent in relation to keeping contracts within the borders of Detroit and are open to raising water rates. Along with this, her absence could also have an impact on the council’s stance on the renovation of the Cobo center that was proposed.
The resignation of Conyers is effective July 6 and her seat will remain empty through the end of the year, according to Cockrel. She faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing.