Friday, June 26, 2009

Nepotism and Corruption is Alive and Well in The John Conyers Clan

Next time a dumb ass Democrat spouts off how Republicans are corrupt, the Republican party should start showing some cajones and make Rep. John Conyers the poster child of nepotism and corruption.

This will certainly flush Obama out when it comes time for an election of the Corrupt Bastards Club of Detroit.

You think Alaska had its problems? The Conyers clan of Michigan alone, beats Alaska.

Detroit --While City Council president this year, Monica Conyers hired her aunt in the council's administrative offices, which manages payroll, travel and purchases for the council members.

Politicians hiring family is not new, but Sunceria Garrett's job adds to the list of Conyers' relatives who are or have recently drawn City Hall paychecks. Conyers has employed her eldest son periodically. Her brother got a position in the city's Buildings and Safety Engineering Department. And her niece works for the mayor's office.

Another staffer who has worked in Conyers' office for at least two years, Kimberly Hutchinson, lives at the same address as Conyers' mom, according to Secretary of State records.


Coit Ford, a public policy assistant to council President Kenneth Cockrel Jr., on Wednesday would only confirm that Garrett, 50, was on staff, but wouldn't provide her salary or hire date. City records show that last year Hutchinson's base salary was $52,000. The council president handles the $2.2 million budget for council administration, including the hiring and firing of administrative staff.

The city has no ban on elected officials hiring relatives, and officials have debated adding an anti-nepotism provision to the ethics ordinance.

Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick employed several relatives including uncles and cousins. Council President Kenneth Cockrel Jr. who, following Kilpatrick's resignation, served as mayor until May, hired his wife's half-uncle, John Clark, as his chief of staff. He was let go after Clark was caught on electronic surveillance accepting a payment or payments in relation to the sewage contract. He hasn't been charged.

Conyers served as council president while Cockrel was interim mayor. She's since returned to her old post as council president pro-tem.

Councilman Kwame Kenyatta said he'd back a ban on hiring relatives. He said he hasn't hired any while on council. But his wife, Monifa, was appointed by Wayne County commissioners to complete his term on the panel after he was elected to council. That's something of a tradition for the post that pays about $68,000 a year. A few years earlier, Cockrel's wife, Kim, was appointed to his seat when he joined the council.

"The use of the office for personal and family gain, that in itself is something we should guard against," Kenyatta said.

Garrett was Conyers' treasurer during her council run in 2005 and Hutchinson also worked on the campaign, records show.

In April, The Detroit News reported that Conyers -- whose maiden name is Esters -- gave the resumes of her brother, Reginald Esters, and other former convicts to Amru Meah, the head of Buildings & Safety Engineering at the time.

Esters was eventually fired by Meah for attendance issues. In April he was sentenced to five years in prison for brandishing a shotgun at several people last summer in the city.

Conyers' son, John Conyers III, worked for her on and off starting in July 2006, at one point for about $15 an hour.

Ellen Conyers has worked in the mayor's Office of Neighborhood Commercial Development since at least October 2006. Tolliver told the Detroit Free Press in April that Conyers had nothing to do with getting her niece the $63,000 a year job.

Someone should ask Obama what does he think of the nepotism and corruption in the Conyers clan...

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