Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Conyers, Monica

Monica Conyers is a former Detroit City Council member who was convicted of conspiracy charges, and was the wife of U.S. Congressman John Conyers. Born Monica Esters on October 31, 1964 in River Rouge, Michigan she earned a BA in secondary education and political science from Bennett College, a master’s degree in public administration from Central Michigan University, and a law degree from the University of the District of Columbia School of Law. She also served in Washington, D.C. as a Lyndon B. Johnson intern.

Prior to her involvement in politics Conyers was a teacher, then administrator with Detroit Public Schools. At age 25, she married U.S. Representative John Conyers, age 61.

In 2005, Conyers was elected to the Detroit City Council. Council members voted her president pro tempore of the Council and Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. as president. As a member of the City Council, Conyers has worked on issues of public safety, neighborhood improvement and crime prevention. 

Following the resignation of Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick and the ascension of City Council president Ken Cockrel, Jr. to Mayor, Monica Conyers became president of the City Council on September 19, 2008. She returned to her position as president pro tempore in May 2009 after Cockrel was defeated in a special mayoral election by businessman Dave Bing. Her time on the council was often marked by contentious behavior with her fellow council members.

Later in 2009, she pled guilty to two felonies in connection with a City Hall bribery scandal and resigned her seat on the City Council. She was sentenced to 37 months jail time, served in a minimum-security West Virginia federal prison. Following a re-entry program she returned home in 2012. Since then she has passed an out-of-state bar exam, briefly hosted a radio show on 910 AM, has attended to real estate school, and held various other jobs.

Monica Conyers was married to U.S. Congressman John Conyers until his death in 2019, despite filing for divorce in 2015. They have two sons, John III and Carl Edward.