Courser, Gamrat open path for lawsuit against state

Posted at 6:27 PM, Apr 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-06 18:27:36-04

LANSING, Mich – A notice of intent filed with the Michigan Court of Claims could lead to a lawsuit on behalf of former freshman lawmakers Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.

Both were ousted from office after an affair and attempted cover-up went public. Courser was forced to resign, Gamrat was expelled.

FOX 17 has learned as many as 15 people have been named in the notice of intent, including several lawmakers and the 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 FOX 17 the following people were named as Tier 1 defendants in the notice, claiming they acted to bring evidence against Courser and Gamrat that was obtained through illegal search and seizure, illegal wiretapping and illegal eavesdropping. Some of the defendants are also accused of falsely imprisoning Courser and Gamrat during expulsion votes by confining them to the House floor:

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

A source close to the filing also telling FOX 17 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 items including lost wages, distress and damage to Courser and Gamrat’s reputations.

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

Meanwhile, both Courser and Gamrat face criminal charges following an investigation by the Attorney General’s office.