Lawmakers Caught in Affair May Sue State

They claim there was a conspiracy to force them from office
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2016 3:13 AM CDT
Updated Apr 8, 2016 5:18 AM CDT
Lawmakers Caught in Affair May Sue State
In this Sept. 10, 2015, file photo, state Rep. Cindy Gamrat watches the voting board as house members vote in Lansing, Mich.   (Rod Sanford/Lansing State Journal via AP, File)

Todd Courser, the Michigan lawmaker who thought starting a smear campaign against himself was a good way to cover up his affair with fellow lawmaker Cindy Gamrat, now apparently thinks he has grounds to sue the state for forcing him out of office. Courser and Gamrat have filed an "intent to sue" notice, claiming that the Michigan House of Representatives, Speaker Kevin Cotter, and their former aides conspired to end their political careers, the Detroit Free Press reports. Courser resigned and Gamrat was expelled after a marathon 16-hour hearing last September, which the legal notice now alleges was "false arrest" and "false imprisonment," reports the Detroit News. Courser and Gamrat, both Republicans, filed the notice just before the deadline to preserve their ability to sue.

The notice states that they could seek $500,000 for "psychological and emotional distress" caused by their removal from office, which they allege was more to do with their opposition to a road funding package than the affair and cover-up. They claim to be victims of "undercover surveillance operations, illegal wiretapping and eavesdropping, extortion, secret meetings, threats and intimidation, identity theft, invasion of privacy, and hacking," according to legal documents. In related legal actions, former aides are suing Courser and Gamrat for firing them after they helped expose the affair, and Michigan's AG has filed felony charges against the pair for misconduct in office, lying under oath, and asking staffers to forge their signatures on official documents. (More Michigan stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.