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Published on Apr 11, 2008
By Suzette Hackney • Detroit Free Press Staff Writer
A Detroit City Council special investigative session into a police whistle-blower lawsuit settlement erupted into a yelling match when President Pro Tem Monica Conyers made claims that she was being disrespected.
The argument began when Conyers asked an independent attorney who was testifying if the council could be sued by Detroit residents for approving the $8.4-million lawsuit settlement.
Councilwoman JoAnn Watson said: "They can sue you; I voted no."
Conyers told Watson to stop interrupting and disrespecting her. She added: "We all know how you voted; you don't have to keep repeating it."
Moments later, Conyers interrupted Council President Ken Cockrel as he was questioning Carl Edwards, the Detroit attorney. Cockrel reminded Conyers that he had the floor and banged his gavel repeatedly.
Conyers railed: "You're not my Daddy. You're not going to disrespect me. Grow up! Control your house and learn how to treat women."
Cockrel told Conyers that she was "one to talk."
Conyers also made repeated mocking reference to Cockrel as Shrek, the green, grumpy and rotund ogre from the animated film.
As the council members yelled at each other, residents attending the hearings yelled, as well. "You're disrespecting the citizens!" and "This is a shame!"
Cockrel took a quick recess to regain order before then breaking for lunch.