Hearings begin to decide 2 lawmakers’ fitness for office

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A Michigan legislative committee is beginning rare disciplinary hearings for two lawmakers who are accused of misusing public resources to hide an extramarital affair.

The special six-member panel will convene for the first time Tuesday at the Capitol to adopt rules and procedures. The House Business Office released a summary report Monday alleging that Republican Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat were dishonest and violated House rules and Michigan’s campaign-finance law.

The report urged further investigation by the committee, which could recommend discipline, including expulsion by the full House.

Courser says Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter “handpicked” evidence that Courser has not been allowed to see and which will be presented to a “hand-picked” committee. Gamrat has not commented on the findings.

The hearings could last for weeks.

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