Michigan state rep admits using tax dollars to hide affair

State Rep. Cindy Gamrat admitted in a hearing Tuesday to using tax dollars to cover up her affair.

- State Rep. Cindy Gamrat apologized and admitted in court Tuesday that she used tax dollars to hide her affair with a fellow lawmaker.

What will happen to the two is unknown at this time. Gamrat cried during the hearing when she apologized and made a confession to having an affair with Rep. Todd Courser. Now, a special house committee recommends Courser be expelled and Gamrat censured.

"I agree with the house business office findings of official misconduct as well as the misuse of state resources," Gamrat said during the hearing.

Courser was at the hearing with an attorney. They listened but left without leaving comment.

Gamrat asked to be censured and the special house panel got a recommendation from Brock Swartzle, attorney for the House of Representatives, to do just that. However, he recommended treating the two differently.

"Both engaged in wrongdoing and both showed terrible judgment," Swartzle said. "It is for the Michigan House of Representatives to decide if and how to punish Rep. Gamrat for the role in the affair. Yet given what appears to be her accomplice role as well as her post revelation acts of contrition, it is recommended that she receive a censure with severe conditions rather than expulsion,"

Despite the recommendation, the committee did not make a final decision. State Rep. Ed McBroom spoke for the committee.

"I cant speak for the other members and what they want to do but for me, I think that grounds for expulsion exists for both but there is a case to be made for censure for one,"

Courser's attorney did talk before the hearing which centered on a massive document of evidence.

"I don't think the report was biased, no," the attorney said. He also would not comment if the report was accurate or if his client did anything wrong.

After giving her confession in the morning, Gamrat took questions from the committee but her attorney did most of the talking. State Rep. John Chirkun was not impressed with what she and her attorney said.

"A judge aks you 'do you know what you've done?' and he has to allocute it out to what he's done and she, her attorney kept her from doing that," Chirkun said.

Afterward Gamrat says she was grateful for the chance to speak.

"Overwhelmed is probably a good way to put it. This morning was hard but I appreciate the opportunity to say that and address my colleagues, the state and my district," Gamrat said.

Courser is expected to testify Wednesday morning.


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