Republican state Rep. Todd Courser, wearing glasses, tells Rep. Ed McBroom he will resign, early Friday.
Candidates have just a week to file to appear on the primary ballots in the Republican-leaning seats. As it became clear he could be expelled, he grew more contrite.
State police are investigating the alleged blackmail and this week obtained a warrant for records from a phone company related to a prepaid, or “burner”, phone from which Courser and Gamrat said they received threatening text messages.
Lawmakers have asked state police and the attorney general to investigate further.
“I support the state police investigation… and we’ll see where that turns out”, he added.
April 15: Courser and Gamrat’s legislative director Joshua Cline resigns, suspecting his bosses “were having an inappropriate physical relationship”.
At 4:13 a.m., the House voted, 91-12, to oust Gamrat, making her only the fourth legislator in Michigan history to be expelled. And, they said, the changed mathematics in the state House, where both Courser and Gamrat were emphatic “no” votes about raising new revenues to spend on roads, can’t hurt.
“Assuming that Courser and Gamrat would have been “no” votes on roads, that might make it more likely to come up with a bipartisan solution”, Greimel said.
Gamrat decided to leave her fate with her colleagues and continued to press for censure instead of expulsion, a deal she said she had been promised after a meeting with House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant, last week.
A spokesman for Attorney General Bill Schuette said the office already was investigating and will work in coordination with state police.
“I do feel like other representatives would have been made aware of that”, Gamrat said. She admitted knowing about the email but not its contents. “There were serious issues brought up”.
With Governor Snyder tied up on a foreign business “mission”, it was left up to Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley to announced election dates to fill the state House seat vacated by the overnight expulsion of Cindy Gamrat from Plainwell and the resignation of Todd Courser of Lapeer.
Courser had sent a phony email claiming he was caught with a male prostitute.
The unofficial tentative vote on the resolution to expel Courser early Thursday evening was 67-14, with 26 lawmakers abstaining. He was immediately escorted out by sergeants. The Democrats had criticized the investigation as rushed and self-serving.
“I put everybody through a whole bunch – across the state, my own family, the constituents, the people in this room”, Courser told reporters. Courser reportedly figured the fake scandal would be so over the top that no one would believe it, and would deflect attention away from the real extramarital affair. His decision came amid a marathon session in the House over whether he and Rep. Cindy Gamrat should stay in their jobs.
On Thursday, a special House committee recommended the expulsion of both freshman tea party legislators, who based legislation on their Christian beliefs and clashed with GOP leadership even before the controversy broke. However the full chamber then deadlocked for hours, as greater than two dozen Democrats refused to vote.
Republicans says it’s time to move past the scandal. One, Ben Graham, gave the Detroit News a secret audio recording of Courser demanding he send the email to “inoculate the herd”, an apparent reference to Courser’s supporters.