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Congressman’s Wife Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy

Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers, wife of Democratic congressman John Conyers, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to commit bribery.

She faces up to five years in prison.

Conyers appeared before District Court Judge Avern Cohn to answer charges in connection with a wide-ranging probe of wrongdoing at Detroit City Hall.

The plea document released Friday cites two instances in late 2007, in the days surrounding the council's approval of a sludge-hauling contract with Synagro Technologies, when Conyers accepted cash bribes from a Synagro consultant.

The document does not cite the specific amount of the bribes, but previous court documents have said Conyers took at least two bribes of $3,000 each.

In both cases cited in the court documents, Conyers was handed the cash in an envelope by a individual representing Rayford Jackson, a Detroit businessman doing work for Synagro who pleaded guilty to bribery earlier this month.

After pleading guilty, Conyers left the courtroom through a back door and declined to comment.

Rep. John Conyers was not available for comment Friday morning. His office released the following statement:

"This has been a trying time for the Conyers family. With hope and prayer, they will make it through this as a family. Public officials must expect to be held to the highest ethical and legal standards. With this in mind, Mr. Conyers wants to work towards helping his family and the city recover from this serious matter."

In January, James Rosendall, a Synagro vice president, pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge for his role in the Detroit contract and was fired by the company.

Rosendall, 44, of Grand Rapids admitted to plying Detroit officials with cash, contributions, chartered flights and a case of champagne to win approval of the $1.2 billion sludge disposal contract. He faces 11 months in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.

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