Former state lawmakers Courser & Gamrat charged with felonies

Two disgraced lawmakers were arraigned in court on Tuesday in connection with their office affair and failed cover up.

Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat were both charged with felonies on Tuesday but both maintain they are innocent of the charges brought against them. Courser pleaded innocent to charges of perjury and said he does not recall lying to anyone.

"Not to my recollection (did I lie to anyone). We have to look at what they're saying. I didn't intentionally try to deceive anyone," Courser said.

Gamrat was advised to remain silent by her attorney, who appears ready to drag the conduct of Attorney General Bill Schuette into the case.

"Bill Schuette wanted to bring this thing back from the dead. Bill Schuette gets to prove his case now," attorney Mike Nichols said the charges were 'unique and unusual'.

Neither Gamrat or Courser gave testified on the merits of the case before the judge. They'll be back in court on March 15 for the preliminary exam and District Court Judge Hugh Clarke, Jr. set bail at $5,000 for Gamrat and $7,500 for Courser.

Schuette accuses Courser of ordering his staff to sign pending legislation, called blue backs, when only lawmakers are suppose to sign them.

"I don't know who signed the blue backs.  I can't determine that," Courser said. "So I don't want really to comment further on that."

Meanwhile in an interesting move, the judge says he wants to talk with the attorney general, lawyers, and the defendants attorneys before any of this goes forward.

There's speculation that he may want more information on so-called used of 'common law' to charge these two ex lawmakers

"Obviously its a catch-all provision and vague on its face whether its even constitutional is the question.

Nobody from Schuette's office was available to comment on Tuesday's hearing.


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