We have been following the case of Michigan House Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat since it first became public knowledge. In addition to the scandal that erupted around their illicit affair, there was the fallout from Courser’s botched attempts to mislead the public by forcing an aide to release falsified emails. This led directly to criminal charges of Misconduct in Office.
All in all, it has been a trying time for the pair. Gamrat’s marriage fell apart as a result of the scandal, and she then chose to resign from the House rather than be fired. Since then, both were charged with Misconduct in Office, although the charges against Gamrat were later dismissed by Lansing’s 54A District Court Judge Hugh Clarke Jr.
Courser was charged with three counts of Misconduct in Office and a single count of Perjury. Although two of the three charges against Courser were also dismissed in Ingham County, the Attorney General’s Office simply refiled them again in a different county – this time in Lapeer County.
Since then, there have been additional developments in the case. In addition to both Courser and Gamrat filing lawsuits against the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, a judge has once again chosen to dismiss the final misconduct charge against Courser in Ingham County. He is still facing a perjury charge in the Ingham County Circuit Court, and a single count of Misconduct in Office in Lapeer County, Michigan.
Third Misconduct Now Charge Formally Dismissed
Court records show that Judge William Collette dismissed the Misconduct in Office charge on Thursday, November 17, 2016. This was not well received by the prosecutor’s office. In a statement made to the public by Andrea Bitely, spokeswoman for the AG’s office, she said that “We are disappointed that the count of misconduct in office was dismissed, but we will move forward with the charges of perjury and the case in Lapeer County.”
This is now the third dismissal of charges against Courser. If the Attorney General’s Office hadn’t chosen to refile the single Misconduct in Office charge against him in Lapeer County, Courser would only be facing a single count of Perjury. However, perjury is still a very serious charge. Under Michigan law, Perjury is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Courser’s defense attorney has already filed motions requesting that the single charge in Lapeer County be dismissed, although thus far the court hasn’t agreed. As of now, due to the most recent dismissal, the trial date for Courser’s perjury charge has been set back from November 28th, which was the original scheduled date.
The legal process is a long one. People don’t realize how complex and time consuming a criminal case can be. Charges, especially when there are several of them and the case is contentious, can take months, if not years, to move through the legal system. For this reason, it is critical to have an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side. One who is up to date on the law, and understands how best to construct a creative and solid defense. So if you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in Michigan’s lower peninsula, contact the Kronzek Firm immediately at 866-766-5245. Our experienced trial attorneys are here to help.