Monica Conyers Leaves Prison For Court Hearing

Lawsuit Accuses Conyers Of Power Abuse While On Detroit's City Council

DETROIT - Former Detroit City Council member Monica Conyers has temporarily left a prison in West Virginia to attend a civil trial in Detroit in November.

Conyers arrived in the city Tuesday night. She is being sued by a Theodis Collins, who wanted to recall her from office.

Collins worked for Mariners Inn, a substance abuse treatment center in the Cass Corridor that receives grants from the city of Detroit.

The lawsuit alleges that Collins was fired for filing the petition to recall Conyers, who was Detroit City Council President at the time. This happened in 2008 when Kwame Kilpatrick resigned as Detroit's mayor, and Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. became interim mayor.

The petition Collins filed said, "Monica Conyers is in violation of standards of conduct in ethical behavior of a public servant."

In May 2009, Collins testified at a Wayne County elections commission hearing and the next day he was fired. The termination letter said it was because his actions were on Mariners Inn time, putting the center at risk.

According to the lawsuit, Mariners Inn was seeking a City of Detroit grant and getting assistance from Conyers. Conyers allegedly demanded Collins be fired.

Conyers has only served half of her 37-month sentence. She is being held at the Wayne County Jail, where she is staying on the second floor in the medical unit.

While Conyers is in Detroit, she will be able to visit her two sons and her husband, congressman John Conyers -- who has refused to discuss her case.

The trial is set for Nov. 14, and Conyers is likely to be called as a witness.

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