Judge says House staff can testify in case of ex-lawmakers

Left to right: mug shots of former representatives Cindy Gamrat (R- Plainwell) and Todd Courser (R - Lapeer) provided by the Michigan Attorney General's Office. (March, 7, 2016)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A judge says House employees can be called to testify in the criminal cases of former Michigan lawmakers Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, who were forced from office in a sex scandal.

The pair’s probable cause hearing is scheduled to begin next week. The alleged crimes mostly relate to an effort to cover up their affair, either by using publicly paid staff or lying to investigators.

The attorney general’s office and the defendants’ lawyers want to ask questions of House Clerk Gary Randall, House Business Office Director Tim Bowlin and others.

Lansing District Judge Hugh B. Clarke agreed Tuesday they can be called. He also ordered attorneys to come to an agreement so House Speaker Kevin Cotter’s chief of staff, Brock Swartzle, and majority legal counsel Hassan Beydoun are questioned.

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