U.S. congressman Conyers to retire after harassment accusations: reports

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - U.S. congressman John Conyers, the longest serving member of the House of Representatives, will announce on Tuesday he does not plan to run for re-election, U.S. media said following accusations of sexual harassment against the Michigan Democrat.

Conyers is expected to make the announcement on a local radio show, the New York Times reported citing a relative. Other local media also reported the plans, citing sources close to Conyers.

His lawyer earlier said on Twitter that Conyers would make an announcement at 10:15 a.m (1515 GMT).

"He is not resigning. He is going to retire," Conyers' great-nephew Ian, a Michigan state senator, told the Times, adding that he planned to run for the seat in Congress himself.

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US Representative John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan, speaks regarding a lawsuit members of Congress have filed against US President Donald Trump for violating the emoluments clause of the US Constitution which bans Presidents from accepting payments, benefits or gifts from foreign states without the consent of Congress, during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) questions witnesses during a House Judiciary Committee hearing concerning the oversight of the U.S. refugee admissions program, on Capitol Hill, October 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Trump administration is expected to set the fiscal year 2018 refugee ceiling at 45,000, down from the previous ceiling at 50,000. It would be the lowest refugee ceiling since Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and ranking member Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) participate in a markup hearing before the House Judiciary Committee March 29, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a markup hearing on H.Res.184, Resolution of inquiry requesting the President and directing the Attorney General to transmit, respectively, certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to communications with the government of Russia; and H.Res.203, Resolution of inquiry requesting the President, and directing the Attorney General, to transmit, respectively, certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to certain communications by the President of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 27: Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., walks down the House steps after a vote in the Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 27: From left, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Reps. Sander Levin, D-Mich., Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., and John Conyers, D-Mich., attend a news conference in the Capitol to call for aid for the Flint water crisis be included in the government funding bill, September 27, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 04: United States Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), left, stands next to United States Representative John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), right, as they announce a bill called, Employ Young Americans Now Act at HOPE (Helping Other People Excel) Project on Thursday June 04, 2015 in Washington, DC. The bill aims at an increase of job training for younger individuals. (Photo by Matt McClain/ The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 13: Rep. John Conyers (C) (D-MI) and Rep. Donna Edwards (R) (D-MD) carry petitions to the White House supporting the expansion of Social Security benefits following a rally July 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. Social Security Works, the AFL-CIO and additional organizations held the event to deliver 'more than 2 million petition signatures' in support of expanding Social Security benefits. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 04: Dennis Edwards and Congressman John Conyers, Jr. attends the 2015 R&B Music Hall Of Fame at The Wright Museum on October 4, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Monica Morgan/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 16: (L-R) Representative John Conyers, Kirk Whalum and Eddie Money speak during Advocacy Day 2015 at Capitol Hill on April 16, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage for NARAS)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 25: Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., speak during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on 'The Unconstitutionality of Obama's Executive Actions on Immigration' on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: Rep. John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference to call for presidential action on immigration on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ethics Committee last week opened an investigation into Conyers, 88, after he said his office had resolved a harassment case of a former staffer with a payment but no admission of guilt.

Conyers has denied the allegations of sexual misconduct.

Congress has been reviewing policies on how to handle sexual harassment complaints after a string of cases involving prominent figures in the U.S. media, Hollywood and politics.

Conyers, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus who was first elected to the House in 1964, stepped down last month as the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. (Reporting by Susan Heavey; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Alison Williams and Andrew Heavens)

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