State Rep. accused of affair, bizarre cover up, expected to release statement Monday

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan Rep. Todd Courser released a nearly 30 minute audio recording Monday morning regarding a scandal involving an extramarital affair with another representative and a bizarre plan to try to mitigate it.

Courser, who represents Lapeer, and fellow Republican Rep. Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell are accused of cheating on their respective spouses and then of trying to use taxpayer resources to cover it up.

The Detroit News obtained a secret recording from one of Courser’s staff members in which Courser outlined a plan to spread a rumor that he hired a male prostitute as a sort of preemptive strike to make the affair with Gamrat seem less serious.

Courser posted on his Facebook page Sunday night that a statement may be coming Monday.

Early Monday morning he released a 27 minute audio statement in which he started off by saying he wanted to “make a verbal statement and to make an audio file and simply allow everyone to hear it in my own words.”

“I think it’s time right now, I really just need to start out by apologizing, I have, well  to all who read this and those who don’t, you have my deepest and my most sorrowful and most humble apology. I don’t know at what point I can get past the guilt and shame I feel. First and foremost I need to ask for forgiveness from God. I have been doing that and I need to work to restore that relationship with him and my wife. We’ve been working through these issues for several months, it’s unfortunate that these pieces of information were released and now have to play out in the public.

Then to my children offering, it’s going to be very difficult in those situations to, I don’t know the stress and shame that comes along with this and it’s really really difficult. I’ve let so many people down. And also to apologize to the church, my constituents and finally to the general public but there’s also another group that I need to ask for forgiveness from and that is Representative Gamrat and her family, especially her husband. My actions in and around these events and the e-mail sent to misdirect attention in both planning and execution, no one else has the responsibility in those actions. Those are mine and mine alone to carry.

This has obviously brought out a whole bunch of things and we’re working through those. My wife and much of my family knew and has known about the issues referred to in the news article for some time and we’ve been working quietly through to rebuild and repair the relationships and continue down that path.

>>Listen to Courser’s entire audio statement here.

On Sunday, Courser posted the following statement on his Facebook page: “I want to thank all of you who have offered up your prayers and support these last few days; it has meant the world to myself and my family,” the post reads. “Given all that is happening around me I have felt it was appropriate to simply take some time and reflect and simply pray. I will try and issue a statement tomorrow…God bless you all and thanks again for your prayers!”

Some have called for the pair to resign, and Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant, has called for an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing.

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