Conyers’ Wife Sentenced to 37 Months in Pay-to-Play Scandal

Posted March 10, 2010 at 2:06pm

A federal judge sentenced former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers, wife of House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), to 37 months in prison Wednesday for her role in a pay-to-play scheme over a $1.2 billion sludge treatment plant contract issued by the city, WXYZ-TV reported.

Monica Conyers, who pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery for taking at least $6,000 in cash in exchange for her vote on the treatment plant contract, initially attempted to withdraw her plea Wednesday, WXYZ reported.

“If I have to, I’ll go to jail for what I’ve done, but I won’t go for what I didn’t do,” she told U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn, the station reported.

Conyers must also serve 2 years of probation. She is scheduled to report to prison July 1 but has 10 days to appeal the sentence.

“You’ll be fair to me or I want to withdraw my plea,” Conyers told the judge, WXYZ reported.

Under the terms of her plea agreement, Conyers faced a maximum sentence of five years, the Detroit Free Press reported.

It was not immediately clear if John Conyers attended the hearing. At least two Detroit news outlets said he was not seen in the courthouse, but he had not voted in any of the three roll call votes Wednesday before 3 p.m.

The Conyerses were married in 1990. They met when she worked on his unsuccessful Detroit mayoral campaign in 1989.

John Conyers, who oversees the Justice Department in his role as Judiciary chairman, was not implicated in the scandal.