Courser, Gamrat open path for lawsuit against state

Posted at 6:25 PM, Apr 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-06 18:25:33-04

LANSING, Mich. -- A notice of intent filed with the Michigan Court of Claims could lead to a lawsuit on behalf of former Michigan lawmakers Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. Both were ousted from office after an affair and attempted coverup went public. Courser was forced to resign; Gamrat was expelled from the House.

FOX 17 has learned as many as 15 people have been named in the notice of intent, including several lawmakers and the Michigan House of Representatives. The notice doesn't mean a lawsuit has been filed, but opens the possibility one is coming down the road.

A source close to the filing tells FOX17 the following people were named as defendants in the notice, which claims they acted to bring evidence against Courser and Gamrat that was obtained through illegal search and seizure, illegal wiretapping and illegal eavesdropping.

  • Keith Allard - former staffer
  • Joshua Cline - former staffer
  • Michigan House of Representatives
  • Kevin Cotter - House Speaker
  • Brock Swartzle - Cotter's chief of staff
  • Norm Saari - Cotter's former chief of staff
  • Tim Bowlin - House business director

Some of the defendants are also accused of falsely imprisoning Courser and Gamrat during expulsion votes by confining them to the House floor.

A source close to the filing also telling FOX17 Wednesday night that Cline's wife was issued a subpoena in relation to the notice. The potential lawsuit itself could seek up to $500,000 in damages for lost wages, distress, and damage to Courser and Gamrat's reputations.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is also named as a defendant in the notice. A spokesperson for his office declined to comment Wednesday evening on the notice.

Meanwhile, both Courser and Gamrat face criminal charges following an investigation by the attorney general's office.