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Conyers’ Legal Tab Tops $17,000

Updated: 11:23 a.m.Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) paid nearly $17,500 in legal bills last year to a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that describes itself as a specialist in “protecting and defending the rights of witnesses involved in government investigations,— according to campaign finance reports.A Conyers spokesman described the expenditure, stating: “It was routine legal advice.—According to the Michigan lawmaker’s most recent Federal Election Commission report, Conyers’ campaign made a $365 payment to Brand Law Group in November, following a $17,090 payment in late September.Those payments along with a dozen smaller bills paid to Perkins Coie, a firm favored by Democrats for campaign finance services, brings Conyers’ legal bill for 2009 to nearly $28,000.In each of the two most recent campaign cycles, 2005-06 and 2007-08, Conyers’ legal bills have totaled around $32,000 for the two-year period.Conyers’ wife, former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers, pleaded guilty in June for her role in a pay-to-play scheme over a $1.2 billion sludge treatment plant contract issued by the city.Monica Conyers is scheduled to be sentenced in March. John Conyers was not implicated in the scandal.

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