Probe: Michigan lawmakers engaged in dishonest cover-up

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

House Speaker Calls For Courser, Gamrat To Resign After Committee Finds Misconduct, Misuse Of Funds.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An investigation of Michigan lawmakers who had an extramarital affair alleges numerous instances of deceptive and “outright dishonest” conduct to cover it up. LANSING (CBS Detroit) The twisting sex, lies and text saga that the legislative careers of Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser have become added another chapter Monday when the House Business Office released its investigation into the pair. “The Business Office found several examples of misconduct that are wholly inappropriate for a sitting lawmaker,” said Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat should wait till Monday to fill within the blanks of the intercourse scandal that has consumed Lansing for the final three weeks. But because these two will not do the right thing for their constituents, for their families and for the House, we will now move forward with a select committee to examine their qualifications.” The investigation focused not on the couple’s extramarital affair, but on the evidence they lied about it multiple times in an elaborate cover up.

Courser has publicly acknowledged that he orchestrated a fictional email campaign in May suggesting he had sex with a male prostitute in order to distract or tamp down attention from his relationship with Rep. Courser and Gamrat also improperly used state resources for political purposes, according to the report, which outlines potential violations of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act.

Cotter ordered the investigation after a former House staffer released audio recordings he had made of Courser, R-Lapeer, plotting to cover up his extra-marital affair with Gamrat, R-Plainwell. The statements of the representatives differed substantially from other persons interviewed, including their employees, Ben Graham, Keith Allard, and Josh Cline. It also reveals that investigators found that the two lawmakers misused their office, their office staff and other state resources to cover-up their affair.

Testimonial and documentary evidence suggests staffers were directed to build political databases for Gamrat’s recent campaign for National Committeewoman and Courser’s potential run for Congress. Tim Bowlin, government director of the workplace, stated his investigation revealed each misconduct and misuse of taxpayer resoures, however he didn’t elaborate and Cotter turned the matter over to the Dickinson Wright regulation agency to assessment the report and supporting supplies. Neither representative is a credible witness and both “misrepresented themselves on several occasions during their testimony to the business office,” the report said.

Courser has since said he sent the email while under intense pressure from someone sending anonymous text messages threatening to expose the affair if he did not resign. The committee, consisting of 4 Republicans and two Democrats who’ve but to be appointed, might advocate a censure, reprimand, expulsion or nothing in any respect. “The Speaker needs to attend until the report is completed earlier than appointing members,” stated Gideon D’Assendro, spokesman for Cotter. “We don’t need to get forward of ourselves.

As MLive reported last week, the phone number used to send the texts has been linked to multiple names, including Courser’s, suggesting an intentional effort to mislead by the actual owner. His employees refused to take part within the try and make it seem that Courser was the sufferer of a smear marketing campaign and to downplay the affair he was having with Courser. This violation of their oaths of office is unacceptable and they should immediately resign,” McDaniel said in a statement. “The people of the 82nd and 80th House Districts deserve better.

For her part, Gamrat gave a press conference Aug. 14 where she denied knowledge of the email scam, but the report found her denial untrue based on audio recordings and interviews with her staff. “The evidence displays a lack of respect for constituents on the part of both representatives, which undermines the legitimacy of their status as representatives and calls into question their ability to effectively represent their districts,” the report says. Staffers were told to help with development and placement of internet-based ads for Courser’s law firm, and employment by the staffers depended on furthering the representatives political ambitions.

Courser, in one of the recordings made by Graham, had described his false-flag email as an attempt to “inoculate the herd” against any real revelation. He additionally blames his former staffers, two of whom have been fired in July and a 3rd who give up in April, and the Republican institution in Lansing for colluding to finish his profession as a state consultant. Courser, initially describing the texts as a form of blackmail, took his claims to the Michigan State Police, which opened an investigation two weeks ago. Bowlin, in announcing the overarching findings last week, said review by outside counsel “is a normal process to protect the privacy and confidentiality of affected individuals and ensure compliance with Human Resources regulations.” Some Democrats, including state Party Chairman Brandon Dillon and Minority Leader Tim Greimel, have questioned the review process and called on Attorney General Bill Schuette to launch his own investigation. “There are some very serious allegations involved here, allegations of a criminal nature, and there needs to be a law enforcement investigation of what occurred,” Greimel said Friday during an appearance on WKAR’s Current State.

The resolution notes that “confidence in government is a prerequisite to the functioning of a democratic society.” It also cites a House rule that prohibits members from converting state-provided staff, facilities, services or supplies for “personal, business and/or campaign use unrelated to House business.” The pair additionally might face removing from workplace if the Home passes a decision, which would wish two-thirds help from the 110-member Home. “Any abstract that’s launched to the general public won’t embrace all of the paperwork.

That is Nixonian,” stated Brandon Dillon, chairman of the state Democrtic Celebration. “This can be a potential legal matter and we have to see every thing.” The Home of Representatives and its enterprise workplace are usually not topic to Freedom of Info legal guidelines. Courser hasn’t returned telephone calls from the Free Press and has been uncharacteristically quiet within the final week on social media, the format he often makes use of to get out his message.

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