Precinct 333

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Turkey Run?

Staff the district office of Rep John Conyers (D-Michigan) requested sixty Thanksgiving turkeys from a Detroit food pantry to distribute to needy families in the district. Now the staff turkeys won’t say where the frozen turkeys went.

Conyers' Detroit office promised an accounting of any turkey distribution by Dec. 27, but the Gleaners Community Food Bank had received no paperwork as of Tuesday, said the charity's director, Agostinho Fernandes.
Fernandes said he became suspicious that the turkeys didn't get to poor people after hearing from a friend that a federal court worker had said he was offered free turkeys from a member of Conyers' staff.

Conyers aides insist that the turkeys were properly distributed, and said that a fax had been sent on Tuesday listing the names of the recipients. But Fernandes said that no list had been received as of the end of the day on Tuesday. And Conyers has failed to respond to requests from the Detroit Free Press that he contact the paper about the situation.

Conyers staff member who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal told the Free Press that [Conyers staffer Elisa] Grubbs and her cousin, Conyers' Detroit deputy chief of staff Marion Brown, along with a former Conyers aide, DeWayne Boyd, picked up the turkeys and later gave contradictory accounts of what happened to the birds.

The unnamed staff member raised concerns in a memo sent to both the FBI and House ethics committee. Conyers was the target of an informal ethics committee inquiry last year following a Free Press investigation about use of staff members during work hours for political campaigns.

Boyd, who was fired from Conyers' Detroit office in 2002, was convicted on seven counts of fraud last month in U.S. District Court in connection with a scam he ran from Conyers' office in 1999.

So a couple of staff members and a former staffer convicted of fraud picked up 720 pounds of frozen turkey and have so far failed to account for it. The congressman and other staffers are stonewalling those seeking answers. Very interesting.

"You can imagine how we feel," Fernandes said. "They didn't pay anything. This was donations to them to help the needy. We get calls from different representatives who want to put together food baskets for their needy constituents and you have faith that these people are going to bring the food to the people it's intended to go to."

Stealing from the needy during the holidays. That’s low, even for the Democrats.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.