Ousted state representative Cindy Gamrat opens up after expulsion

Posted at 6:38 PM, Sep 11, 2015

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Former state representative Cindy Gamrat spoke at a press conference hours after her colleagues voted to expel her from office. The conference was held at her attorney Mike Nichols' law firm in East Lansing.

She said she knew the disciplinary committee planned to expel her when the committee was proposed. She said she's learned Lansing lawmakers don't do things unless they have the votes to get it done.

She said she agreed to the press conference to once again own up to her mistakes, answer questions and reflect on her time as a lawmaker.

"I would say I was pretty naive when I went (to Lansing)," Gamrat said. "I knew it would be hard, and I knew I'd see some difficult situations. I never realized how hard and how bad it would be. Um, personally I've become somewhat disillusioned in my government, some of the things that I've seen, and it disappointments me, " she continued.

At the same time, Gamrat said she went to Lansing with preconceived notions and put a wall up around herself. She said she regrets not forming better professional relationships with other lawmakers. With regard to the pending criminal investigation by the Michigan State Police, Gamrat's attorney said he's not worried about any criminal implications his client may face.

When asked how she thinks people will view this episode historically, she said, "I don't want to be in the books as expelled. But I also knew in my heart what I've done, the infractions I've made and what I've done to try to correct that."

Gamrat added, "And I thought censure was the appropriate response to this situation. At that point, it was up to my colleagues to determine if they want that as well."

Nichols said he thinks lack of experience among lawmakers with term-limits, and a lack of institutional knowledge may have played a role in how the investigation and hearings were handled.

When asked if she plans to run for office again, Gamrat said she's not thinking about a political future right now and that she plans to focus on her family.