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House Committee Opens Hearings on Whether Courser, Gamrat Fit to Serve

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Image credit: Jimmy Wayne (FLICKR/CC)

House committee will soon decide whether or not Gamrat and Courser will return to work or be expelled.

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A state House committee has opened hearings on whether lawmakers should remove two embattled lawmakers from office.

The panel will go over evidence from an internal investigation that found Rep. Todd Courser (R-Lapeer) and Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R-Plainwell) misused taxpayer resources to cover up an affair.

Gamrat watched the brief organizational hearing from the audience on Tuesday. She told reporters afterward she’s willing to cooperate.

“It’s not easy,” said Gamrat. “I’m trying to understand the process better, to understand the allegations that are brought against me better, so that I can help be part of that solution.”

“There’s things that concern the people of my district like roads and other things that I think it’s time we get back to that business. So, however I can be a help to my colleagues and to this committee in moving that forward, that’s what I’m here for.”

But Gamrat said she does not think it’s appropriate for lawmakers to determine whether she’s not fit to serve.

“I think that’s for my voters to decide,” she said.

Republican House leaders say they plan to release the entire investigation report to the public after the panel wraps up its work. House GOP spokesperson Gideon D’Assandro says that will include audio recordings and/or transcripts and other evidence used to reach the findings.

The reason for the wait, D’Assandro says, is to allow the panel to bring up evidence as it sees fit. He says that’s consistent with how courts operate – not beginning a trial with a large public “evidence dump.” Although, both he and the committee’s chair stated a number of times that the panel is not a court and the hearings are not a trial.

Committee chair state Rep. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) says they hope to finish up their work in a “week or two.”

Jake Neher, Producer, Detroit Today

Jake Neher is a producer and reporter for Detroit Today. He has formerly reported on the Michigan legislature.

Jake.Neher@wdet.org Follow @GJNeher

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