UPDATE: 11:15 a.m. – The top aide to House Speaker Kevin Cotter is recommending that Rep. Todd Courser be expelled from office and Rep. Cindy Gamrat be censured for their role in trying to hide their extramarital affair.
Brock Swartzle , Cotter’s chief of staff and general counsel for the Michigan House, recommended the discipline while testifying Tuesday before a committee investigating the Republicans’ fitness for office.
Courser has admitted that he arranged for a phony email to be sent that said he had been caught having sex with a male prostitute. He said the tale would make the affair less believable in case it was exposed by an anonymous blackmailer who was sending him and Gamrat text messages demanding that he resign or their relationship would be exposed.
UPDATE: 11:05 a.m. – An embattled Michigan lawmaker is admitting to misusing public resources to hide an extramarital affair with another legislator and is asking that she be censured for her misconduct.
Republican Rep. Cindy Gamrat opened a legislative hearing Tuesday by apologizing for her role in an email cover-up. She says she would “humbly” accept a censure.
She had previously denied knowledge of the “over-the-top” email but now admits discussing it with GOP Rep. Todd Courser.
Gamrat read a nine-minute statement in which she said she was “sincerely devastated” by her mistakes.
The committee could recommend discipline, including censure or expulsion.
Courser and Gamrat have apologized but declined calls to resign.
Gamrat, of Plainwell north of Kalamazoo, is scheduled to meet with constituents Tuesday evening for the first time since the scandal broke.
LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – We’ve got an update for you this morning on the continuing saga surrounding two state lawmakers Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.
Disciplinary hearings first happened in 1887, again in 1978 and most recently in 2001.
And now as the state House holds the first disciplinary hearing for the two lawmakers later this morning there’s a chance Rep. Courser and Rep. Gamrat could become the fourth and fifth lawmakers to ever be expelled from office in state history.
The hearing today will be one of at least two scheduled this week.
And it could take weeks before any decisions are made.
The six-member legislative committee will further investigate a “House Business Office” report that found Gamrat and Courser misused their staff, offices and other state resources in order to hide their extramarital affair.
That committee could also recommend what discipline, if any, would be appropriate, including expulsion from the full House.
Both Courser and Gamrat will have the opportunity to testify this week.
They’ve refused to resign from their positions.
6 News Capital correspondent Tim Skubick is covering the hearing today which begins at 10:30 this morning.