Misconduct Charges Against Former Legislators Tossed Out

The sex scandal involving two former Michigan Lawmakers has resulted in a mixed bag with regards to the outcome. One has seen all felony Misconduct in Office charges dismissed, while the other is headed to trial for allegations of Perjury and Misconduct in Office.


The charges stem from a bizarre cover-up engineered by former Lapeer County state Reps. Todd Courser, who tried to divert attention from his extra-marital affair with Cindy Gamrat by forcing an aide to send out an email claiming Courser had been found with a male prostitute. For many, the entire scandal became something of a joke, but for Courser and Gamrat it was only the tip of the iceberg.

Consequences of Cover-Up No Joke for State Representatives

When the affair became public knowledge, many people were outspoken about their disappointment in the pair of legislators. A lot of constituents felt that neither Courser or Gamrat deserved to be in office – a sentiment which ultimately to an investigation that revealed other, unrelated issues and allegations.


Both Course and Gamrat ended up faced with criminal charges. Todd Courser was charged with three counts of Misconduct in Office and a single count of Perjury. Misconduct in office, under Michigan law, is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, while Perjury is a fifteen year felony. Cindy Gamrat was charged with two counts of Misconduct in Office as well.


Courser’s misconduct charges are the result of several different issues. One allegation is the aforementioned ordering of the staff member to send out an email to other staffers in which the claim was made that Todd Courser and a male prostitute had been caught together “behind a prominent Lansing nightclub”. The point, of course, was to make any future allegations of illicit sexual activity against Rep. Courser seem all the more ridiculous.


Misconduct in Office Means Felony Charges

Another misconduct charge alleges that he lied to investigators about critical information during the course of the investigation. The final charge has to do with forged signatures. According to the Michigan Attorney General, Former Rep. Courser authorized a staff member in his office to forge his signature on proposed House Bills. It is this allegation that the perjury charge is tied to as well, which claims that Todd Courser lied under oath to cover up the fact that he had allowed staffers to sign documents on his behalf.


Cindy Gamrat’s two misconduct charges were very similar. She was alleged to have authorized staff members to sign proposed legislation on her behalf and then lied to cover it up during the investigation. But Lansing’s 54A District Judge Hugh Clarke Jr. has tossed out the charges against Gamrat saying that there was not enough evidence to support the charges.


In addition, the Attorney General’s Office has made a public statement saying that they do not intend to appeal the Judge Clark’s decision. Todd Courser however, will still face trial on two of the four counts against him, one being the Perjury charge and the other being a single felony Misconduct charge. As of yet, no trial date has been set, but we intend to follow this case closely, and will keep you updated as it develops. The criminal defense team at The Kronzek Firm has represented numerous public officials over the years.  We can be reached at our main office in Lansing or in our Oakland County, MI office by calling 1 866-766-5245.

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