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Conyers Due To Report To Prison Friday

Former Detroit councilwoman Monica Conyers, who admitted taking bribes to support a sludge contract, must report to prison by Friday after a federal appeals court refused to delay her sentence.

Conyers is not likely to flee if granted bond while appealing her case, but the appeal so far doesn't raise a ``close question'' that could eventually overturn her conviction, a three-judge panel said Thursday.

Conyers, the wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., faces a 37-month sentence for conspiring to take bribes to support a sludge contract in 2007 when she served on the council.

She pleaded guilty last year but demanded months later to withdraw her plea, just moments before she got her punishment from U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn.

"I just don't feel I should go to jail for something that I didn't do,'' Conyers said in March.

Cohn, however, said the guilty plea would stand.

 The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati still will consider an appeal by Conyers. The court wants documents filed by early December.

A message seeking comment was left with her lawyer, Doug Mullkoff.

Conyers so far has been the biggest catch in the FBI's investigation of corruption in Detroit government while Kwame Kilpatrick was mayor.

At least 10 people have pleaded guilty, including two brothers who were senior aides to Kilpatrick and two men who were directors of the downtown convention center.

Kilpatrick is awaiting trial on federal fraud and tax charges related to how he spent money from a nonprofit fund. In a separate case in state court, he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and left office in 2008.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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