Friday, February 15, 2008

Little Fallujah

Monica Conyers, the City Council President Pro Tem of Detroit and wife of John Conyers, added yet another layers of petard to Detroit by threatening a member of Detroit's pension board with gun violence.

Conyers and DeDan Milton, a staffer for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, brought Wednesday's meeting of the General Retirement System board to a halt when an argument began after Conyers asked that the board pay for a firm to conduct a study about a potential investment, said Sheila Kneeshaw, a trustee on the board.

Milton told Conyers that the board already had determined it could not afford to fund the study. "It just blew from there," said Kneeshaw, who was elected to the position by city employees.
"There was threats made. There was vulgar language," Kneeshaw said. "And it wasn't DeDan Milton's fault. She was ranting and raving."

Milton filed a report with Detroit police at 12:48 p.m., saying she verbally attacked him and had to be restrained.
Conyers "then threatened to shoot the victim with her gun," the report states.

Stay classy, Monica. Reports of the incident differ, though.

Conyers’ chief of staff Sam Riddle said it was Milton who instigated the incident by cursing at her during Wednesday's meeting.

“Monica is no shrinking violet,” Riddle said. “He starts yelling at her. She responds aggressively and in street lingo, it was on.”

Riddle said two people restrained Milton and he held Conyers back. He said she never threatened to use a gun.

“What she said was: ’I’ve got a bigger gun than your gun -- my husband,’ ” Riddle said. “She was talking about a political gun.”

I believe that's a version of Do you know who I am?

Another version:

According to the police report filed today by DeDan Milton, an assistant to Kilpatrick, Conyers "threatened to shoot (Milton) with her gun" and made "several aggressive movements toward (Milton) in a threatening manner."

Milton also reported to police that Conyers said she would "have my brothers (mess) you up."

David Clark, chair of Detroit's General Retirement System, backed up Milton's account.

"She ran at him," Clark told The Detroit News. "She told him she would get a gun if she had to and that she has four brothers and they would whoop his a-- if she asked them."

In his police report, Milton said members of Conyers' staff, and others at the meeting, had to restrain her. But Sam Riddle, Conyers' chief of staff, said Milton was the one who had to be restrained. Riddle, who said he witnessed the squabble, said Milton started it by telling Conyers to shut up -- and using an expletive.

Milton declined to be interviewed, and Riddle said Conyers didn't want to talk about the confrontation.

Clark said the pension board plans to meet in a closed session Wednesday to discuss how to handle the situation. He said the board could ask the city council to remove Conyers from the post. A member of council sits on both the city's general retirement board and the police and fire retirement board. Conyers was appointed to the board by her council colleagues.

Clark said the verbal battle started when Conyers came late to the board meeting and wanted to talk about an investment issue that the trustees had already discussed.

"The comment that was made (by Milton) was, 'Can we move forward? We've already discussed this,'" Clark said. "That's what triggered everything."

He said Conyers said she could do what she wanted and called Milton foul names. Clark also said Conyers ran toward Milton and had to be restrained by other trustees.