House orders investigation into Courser, Gamrat

Posted at 9:17 PM, Aug 19, 2015

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan House of Representatives on Wednesday night took what could be the first step toward expelling a pair of Republican members who have been in the news this month over a sex scandal and cover-up.

House members passed a resolution ordering an investigation into whether Rep. Todd Courser and Rep. Cindy Gamrat (pictured) are fit to hold office. The House adjourned for the evening soon thereafter, without a vote on a roads bill.

Expulsion requires holding hearings and securing a two-thirds majority of members to vote another member out. It has happened just twice before in the history of the Michigan Legislature: in 2001 to Sen. David Jaye and in 1978 Rep. Monte Geralds.

The freshman lawmakers and conservative favorites have admitted to having an extramarital affair, and Courser has claimed he was being blackmailed by powerful Lansing sources. Courser then tried to persuade an aide to take part in a bizarre coverup involving allegations that Courser visited male prostitutes.

The two lawmakers are also at the center of an ongoing House Business Office investigation to determine whether they inappropriately used taxpayer-funded staff and resources to cover up their affair.

The resolution passed Wednesday calls for creating “a House select committee to examine the qualifications of Representative Cindy Gamrat of the Eightieth House District and Representative Todd Courser of the Eighty-second House District, State of Michigan, and determine their fitness to continue holding the high office to which they were elected.”