House panel mulls fitness of Gamrat, Courser for office

In this Jan. 14, 2015 file photo, Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, and Rep Todd Courser, R-Lapeer wave to reporters in the House of Representatives in Lansing, Mich. (Dale G. Young /Detroit News via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — A Michigan legislative committee has held the first of several disciplinary hearings for two lawmakers who are accused of misusing public resources to hide an extramarital affair.

The House Business Office released a summary report Monday alleging that Republican Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat were dishonest and violated House rules and campaign-finance laws. The report urged further investigation by the committee, which could recommend discipline, including expulsion.

Binders containing full report of investigation into Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. (Sept. 1, 2015)
(Binders containing full report of investigation into Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat./Sept. 1, 2015)

>>PDF: Report on investigation into Reps. Courser and Gamrat

A six-member panel convened briefly for the first time Tuesday at the Capitol to adopt rules. During the brief meeting, the chief of staff wheeled in boxes full of large binders containing the full report for them to review over the next few days.

Gamrat, who attended the hearing, says she is weighing all options but for now thinks her constituents should decide her fitness for office.

“I think that’s for my voters to decide. I still get letters every day in the mail from my supporters asking me not to resign…and I’m weighing everything out,” Gamrat said.

Courser, who was not at Tuesday’s hearing, says “hand-picked” evidence that he has not been allowed to see will be presented to a “hand-picked” committee.

>>READ: Courser’s full statement (copied from his email and transformed into a PDF)

Gamrat announced on Tuesday that she would hold office hours from 6:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at Fennville City Hall. The event is open to the public and does not require reservations.

“It’s very important to keep in touch with what people want from state and local government, and informal sessions such as this are key in effectively representing the people of the 80th House District,” Gamrat said in a statement announcing the hours.

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