The son of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, reported some $30,000 in computers and concert tickets were stolen from a Cadillac Escalade he was driving in Detroit last week. The problem? The Escalade is leased by the government.
John Conyers III, 20, told Detroit police that he left the 2010 Escalade parked downtown for a hour late Wednesday night. When he returned, he found the SUV scratched up and items strewn around the interior. The missing goods included two Apple computers valued at $1,100 each and 1,000 tickets to a Big Sean concert at the Fillmore Detroit with a face value of $27,500. It's not that sizable a haul given that thieves typically take off with the entire Escalade.
Where things get complicated is that the burgundy Escalade was registered to Conyers' office, and appears to be the same vehicle the U.S. government leases on Conyers' behalf for $1,251.66 a month. Members of Congress can lease almost any vehicle they choose - a few have picked out Lexus SUVs for their official whip - and often pay steep monthly bills for unlimited mileage or other unusual terms. But government rules require those vehicles to stay on official business, and provide punishments for staffers who use them off-duty.
Rep. Conyers said in a statement today that his son's use of the Escalade was "inappropriate," that he would keep it from happening again and reimburse the government for any unofficial use. As for the Big Sean tickets: the Fillmore simply cancelled the ones reported stolen; buying them off the street won't make anyone happy. (H/T to VeeArrrSix!)