Felony charges for Gamrat, Courser

- Felony charges of misconduct in office have been filed against former State Representatives Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Friday with the Michigan State Police. 

The email scandal involving the attempted cover-up of their affair led cost both representatives their positions last year. Gamrat was expelled and Courser resigned.

Gamrat has been charged with two counts of misconduct in office, which is a felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a maximum $10,000 fine. Courser has been charged with three counts of misconduct in office, and one charge of perjury related to testimony he gave to the Michigan House of Representatives while under oath. That count carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

While more details will be revealed during the prosecution, Schuette said that charges will allege that Gamrat and Courser engaged in a pattern of corrupt conduct while holding state office, including both lying to the House Business Office during its investigation and Courser lying during testimony before the House Select Committee, while under oath, about directing staff to forge his signature on proposed legislation.

The state contends Courser perjured himself while testifying before a House investigation committee about ordering a staff member to sign pending legislation.  Under House rules, only lawmakers can sign what are called "blue backs."

"He falsely stated that a staff member gave him the green light to forge his signature on House legislative proposals," Schuette said during the press conference.

Gamrat is accused of lying, too.

"These charges relate to lying to House Business Office investigators and instructing a staff member to sign blue backs against House rules," he said.

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