Courser testifies, requests censure for chance to redeem public trust

Posted at 7:39 PM, Sep 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-09 19:39:21-04

LANSING, Mich. -- Representative Todd Courser apologized for his actions to the disciplinary committee that could recommend his removal from office. Just as Cindy Gamrat did, Courser requested censure instead of expulsion.

He also said the same course of action should be taken for Gamrat. During his testimony, he tried explaining his state of mind back in May when he wrote and sent a bizarre email.Courser attempted to minimize his affair with state representative Cindy Gamrat.

"I wanted to die. It was a really really desperate and difficult spot," Courser testified.

He added, "If I was looking at me and looking at me in that situation. Me just hearing it, I would say expulsion is completely appropriate as an option."

Courser, again, wants to keep his elected position. He said staying in office is his best chance to redeem himself and regain the public's trust. However, when it comes to his apologies, the committee questioned his sincerity.

"We see a long pattern here that pre-dates May, even pre-dates the recordings in the investigation of dishonesty," Representative Ed McBroom, the committee chair told Courser.

"It's hard for me to accept that now is suddenly the moment when the light shines in, and it's not another attempt at misdirection, [that] this is not another attempt at manipulation," McBroom continued.

Committee member representative Andrea LaFontaine said, "First off, you showed up late. That was a little bit disrespectful to the committee."

The republican lawmaker from New Baltimore also took exception with Courser describing himself "as desperate. That you have a hard life. That you acted emotionally when posting certain things online. You describe your berating email as a moment you have with your staffers."

She added, "I don't care if it was a moment. I don't care if it was a minute. I don't care if it was a month... it was unacceptable. You do not treat staff like that."

The disciplinary hearings are scheduled for a third day, Thursday morning.