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Attorney: Radio station didn’t fire Monica Conyers

Christine Ferretti, The Detroit News

An attorney for former Detroit City Council President Monica Conyers said Wednesday she wasn’t fired from 910 AM Superstation, countering that she wanted to give up the unpaid gig.

Monica Conyers

The Southfield-based radio station doesn’t pay its hosts and expects them to draw advertising. But when Conyers decided she wanted to leave, it sparked a “falling out” with station leadership, said Daniel Findling, a Royal Oak-based attorney who represented Conyers in a prior divorce case.

The explanation came a few hours after 910 AM Superstation owner Kevin Adell released a memo claiming he had fired Conyers.

“Effective immediately, Monica Conyers will no longer represent The Word Network in any capacity. Here services as a vendor have been terminated for violation of CORPORATE POLICY,” Adell, who also owns WADL-TV, told employees in a Wednesday memo.

Adell didn’t specify what the violation was, and radio station spokesman Mort Meisner declined comment, adding that “The memo have to speak for itself.”

Conyers had a Sunday 1-2 p.m. show that started in September. She has been working for Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services and managing rental properties and simply didn’t have enough time to focus on the radio station, Findling said.

“She’s taxed. She’s being stretched in too many other places and can’t devote the time she wants to for this on-air business,” he said. “She flat-out said ‘Listen, it’s time for me to move on. I’ve got to focus my energies where I’m making money.’ Sometimes people are sensitive to that.”

Conyers was elected to the Detroit City Council in 2005 and pleaded guilty to city hall corruption charges in 2010, which ended with a 37-month federal prison sentence for accepting financial bribes for a favorable vote on a $1 billion sludge-hauling deal. She was released from probation eight months early in August 2014.

Findling called the incident a “non-event,” saying the station is just “trying to make a mark on her.”

“I can’t imagine any other reason other than they are upset at her decision to leave,” he said. “Sometimes that happens.”

The radio station owner has had trouble with other radio hosts. In October, former Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee quit 15 minutes into his midday show on 910AM superstation. Adell told The Detroit News Godbee left because he rejected Godbee’s request for a show on The Word Network, a religious broadcasting station he owns.

Findling added Conyers is trying to take positive steps in her life.

“It’s not easy being Monica Conyers,” he said. “To take steps forward when so many people try to bring you down.”

In early January, Conyers showed up to greet House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, at a ceremonial swearing in for individual U.S. House members and their families at the U.S. Capitol without Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Detroit.

“Where’s John?” Ryan asked her in a conversation picked up by C-SPAN cameras.

“I can’t find him,” replied Monica.

Each with an arm around the other, they shook hands and smiled for the photographers. She gave Ryan a hug, and he kissed her on the cheek.

“This is so cool,” Ryan said. “Nice to meet you, too.”