Michigan House expels Rep. Gamrat, Rep. Courser resigns

Posted at 4:43 AM, Sep 11, 2015

LANSING, Mich. —Early Friday morning, lawmakers in the state House voted to expel embattled Rep. Cindy Gamrat just a short time after Rep. Todd Courser resigned.

Courser, R-Lapeer, submitted his resignation just after 3 a.m. Friday following what had been 14 hours of deadlock and two initial failed votes to expel the freshman lawmaker in the House as many Democrats refused to vote.

Lawmakers voted around 4 a.m. to expel Gamrat, R-Plainwell, securing the two-thirds supermajority vote necessary with a 91-12 vote.

Leaders in the House and Gov. Snyder also called for the Michigan State Police to investigate the scandal for any criminal activity.

Earlier Thursday, a select House committee recommended expulsion for both lawmakers for their role in using their taxpayer-funded offices to cover up an extra marital affair.

The question of expulsion or censure for the two lawmakers dragged well into the evening Thursday and early morning hours of Friday as Democrats called on Republicans to offer a more transparent process and more time to read the 800-plus page House investigation report.

>> Read: Full 800+ page House Business Office Investigation report released

The vote for Gamrat's expulsion finally came after Courser had submitted a letter of resignation. Gamrat is now the fourth lawmaker ever to be expelled by the Michigan Legislature.

In separate statements issued early Friday, House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, and House Minority Leader, D-Auburn Hills, said the House approved resolutions requesting investigations by the state attorney general and Michigan State Police.

“I support the Michigan State Police in opening an investigation into any criminal activity by state Reps. Courser and Gamrat," said Gov. Snyder in a release. "This matter needs to be resolved and an investigation by MSP will provide even further clarity."

Courser and Gamrat misused their taxpayer-funded offices to cover up their affair engaging in actions that were 'deceptive' and 'deceitful', according to summary findings of a House Business Office investigation.

The two lawmakers have been embroiled in scandal since early August when audio recordings obtained by the Detroit News revealed Courser, R- Lapeer,  was planning to distribute a fictional email alleging he had sex with a male prostitute in order to hide his relationship with Gamrat, R- Allegan County.