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Ex-Michigan lawmakers Courser, Gamrat arraigned on charges

Former Michigan lawmakers accused of misconduct in office

LANSING, Mich. – Former Michigan representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat turned themselves in on Tuesday for arraignment on felony charges connected to a sex scandal that ruined their political careers.

Last year, Courser apologized for his affair with Gamrat, as a 90-minute recording was played for lawmakers in which he asked his staffer to concoct a bizarre cover-up story alleging he was a drug and porn addict who paid for sex with men.

Michigan House investigators determined both lawmakers had lied about their relationship and their knowledge of the cover-up.

The House Speaker requested the investigation after a local news outlet reported Courser personally wrote an email from a pseudonym that was sent around the House. The email alleged he paid for sex with a male prostitute. The email was apparently designed to try to cover up an affair Courser was having with Gamrat.

Read: Cindy Gamrat's husband was 'blackmailer'

Courser later confessed to writing the email in a lengthy, rambling audio file he posted on the Web.

Gamrat broke her silence weeks later, delivering a tearful apology to the public and denying she had any knowledge of the email plot.

That was a lie, a House report alleges. Citing testimony from some of Gamrat and Courser's former employees as well as audio files, the report found Gamrat was aware of an attempt by Courser to convince a staffer to send the email before he did it himself.

Gamrat was expelled from the House after a vote last fall and Courser resigned before waiting for another expulsion vote in the House after his first one failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Courser and Gamrat are charged with misconduct in office. Courser is also facing a perjury charge related to testimony he gave to the Michigan House of Representatives while under oath.

Gamrat pleaded not-guilty to the charges and was given a $5,000 personal bond. 

Courser also pleaded not-guilty. His personal bond was set at $7,500.