Mich. Lawmaker Resigns After Real, Fake Affairs

Rep. Cindy Gamrat expelled an hour after Rep. Todd Courser resigned
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2015 8:01 AM CDT
Mich. Lawmaker Resigns After Real, Fake Affairs
State Rep. Cindy Gamrat watches the voting board as house members vote yesterday in Lansing, Mich.   (Rod Sanford/Lansing State Journal via AP)

At 3:12am today, Michigan state Rep. Todd Courser resigned from his seat in the legislature, though it appears he had no intention of doing so when he entered the room 14 hours earlier. The move came after two failed votes to expel Courser, 43, as well as a lengthy debate about his affair with Rep. Cindy Gamrat, 42, who was expelled shortly after Courser gave his resignation, reports the Detroit Free Press. The affair came to light after Courser sent an anonymous, phony email to GOP activists in May claiming he was a "bi-sexual porn-addicted sex deviant" who paid for sex with men, per the AP. The email was apparently intended to make Courser's affair with Gamrat seem less egregious or even unbelievable if it became known. Courser says he and his brother had received texts from someone who threatened to expose the affair.

Both Courser and Gamrat admitted to misconduct and misuse of taxpayer resources but hoped they would only be censured. A special committee had voted 4-0 to expel the pair, but the first vote in the House failed 67-14 as many Democrats chose not to vote; a second vote also failed. Only when an amendment calling for police and AG investigations into the controversy were added to Gamrat's expulsion resolution did it pass 91-12 around 4am. "I just felt like it was the appropriate moment to do it," Courser says of his resignation. "Whether it was the third vote or the fourth vote or the fifth vote, they were going to eventually get me." A magistrate has issued a search warrant ordering AT&T to give up information about the prepaid phone used in the apparent blackmail scheme. (More Lansing, Michigan stories.)

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