Another woman accused Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., Wednesday of harassment and verbal abuse, becoming the first to go on the record to complain about his alleged misconduct, according to a report.
“There was nothing I could do to stop it,” Melanie Sloan, a high-profile ethics lawyer and former executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told the Washington Post. “Not going to leadership, not going to my boss, not going to a women’s group, not going to a reporter. I was dismissed and told I must be mentally unstable.”
Sloan, who worked for Conyers as the House Judiciary Committee's minority counsel from 1995 to 1998, doesn't believe she was sexually harassed, but said she experienced inappropriate and abusive behavior at the hand of the longest-serving active member of the House.
Sloan recalled the now 88-year-old allegedly yelling at her, criticizing her appearance, and summoning her to his office on one occasion where she found him only in his underwear.
Sloan said she complained more than once about Conyers to her supervisor, as well as to the office of then-House Minority Leader Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Mo.
“The reason I decided to go on the record is to make it easier for other people,” she said. “People are afraid to come forward. So much about working in Washington is about loyalty, and you are supposed to shut up about these things.”
Arnold Reed, Conyers’ legal counsel, denied Sloan’s allegations when contacted by the Washington Post.
Conyers is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee after it was revealed by BuzzFeed News that he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with another former staffer in 2015.
The publication then reported on Tuesday that Maria Reddick, an ex-scheduler for the congressman, abandoned a similar complaint against him in February after her application to keep the matter sealed was denied.