Friday, 05 April 2013 08:34

Former Detroit City Councilwoman Works at Auto Body Shop While Serving Federal Prison Term

Former Detroit City Council member Monica Conyers is working at an auto body shop while serving the remainder of her federal prison sentence for corruption.

The wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers now works for Metrotech Collision in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, according to owner Sam Hussein.

Federal authorities allowed Conyers move to a halfway house in Detroit on Jan. 25 while she finishes a 37-month prison sentence that ends May 16. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in 2009 and entered prison the next year. Conyers was sentenced to Alderman Federal Prison Camp—also known as ‘Camp Cupcake’—after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.

Conyers admitted taking bribes from Houston-based Synagro Technologies in exchange for her vote on a $47 million sludge hauling contract. The council voted 5-4 in favor of the Synagro contract with Conyers’ support.

Getting a job was a condition of her release. She works about 30 hours a week at the collision shop answering phones, doing administrative work and working with insurance providers.

“She’s been here for about 2 1/2 months,” Hussein told The Detroit News. “She’s doing a great job.”

“She applied for the job. We asked her to submit her resume, which she did, and we saw she had great credentials,” said Hussein.

Conyers is forbidden to speak to the news media as a condition of her release, Hussein said. He said the Detroit corruption case did give him pause, but that he ultimately decided to give Conyers a chance.

“Those charges are always a concern, but when I thought about what she’s doing to put the past behind her, I realized I can only judge her based on what she’s doing for us,” he said.

Conyers, 48, served as president of the Detroit City Council between September 2008 and May 2009. She was sentenced in March 2010.

The continuing federal probe of corruption in Detroit City Hall led to recent convictions of ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and city contractor Bobby Ferguson on a range of charges related to bribe-taking and paying.