LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - The House Business Office has released its official report outlining the alleged misuse of taxpayer money by the two lawmaker.
The report says the House Business Office found that Courser and Gamrat committed misconduct in office and misused state resources. It also says these actions warrant further investigation and review by the Select Committee. You can read the full report here, or a brief summary below.
The affair between Courser and Gamrat had been rumored for months but blew up after the release of audio recordings in which Courser laid out elaborate plans to cover it up. The report says that, "while the affair itself was primarily a personal, not official, matter, the Representatives abused their offices in attempting to cover it up."
The report also detailed Courser's alleged action of asking staffer Ben Graham to send the "outlandish email full of lies" in attempt to cover up the affair.
"While likely not illegal in-and-of itself, the very sending of the email showed a callous lack of respect and candor to [Rep. Courser's] fellow Representatives, constituents, and the public at-large," the report reads. "Representative Courser's request of a State employee to send a false communication from an unidentified source in order to provide cover for a personal misconduct is unethical and an abuse of the office of State Representative. Moreover, it was only Mr. Graham's refusal that prevented a state-funded resource from being employed in this part of the Representatives' attempted cover up."
The report also states audio recordings and staff testimony show that Gamrat's statement about having no knowledge of the false email was a lie.
Moreso, the investigation found Courser and Gamrat to have a "lack of respect" their constituents. The report says Courser referred to his constituents as a "herd" that needed to be "inoculated through deceit", and that Gamrat showed her lack of respect when she gave false public statements at a press conference. The report says Rep. Courser also missed an official meeting of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee because he was too caught up in conversation with Gamrat and his staffer, Ben Graham, about hiding their affair, despite several attempts by Graham to end the conversation.
Aside from the affair, the report states Courser and Gamrat forced their staff to forge their signature on three bills in an attempt to undermine the efforts of other Representatives to introduce similar legislation.
Today's report will help House speaker Kevin Cotter determine whether to activate a special committee that would decide whether courser and gamrat should be forced out of office.
Lastly, the report found there is insufficient evidence to prove Graham or Keith Allard, who worked for the offices of Representative Courser and Representative Gamrat respectively, were wrongfully terminated. The investigation found documents as early as January of this year in which Gamrat and Courser said they were unsatisfied with their staffers' performances, which coincides with the reasons offered for their termination.The report also details a few instances, though, in which Rep. Courser berated the staff in an unprofessional manner.
This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 2 for further details on the findings of the report.