The Latest: Michigan lawmakers seeks to 'restore dignity'

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Posted: Sep 09, 2015 12:09 PM
The Latest: Michigan lawmakers seeks to 'restore dignity'

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The latest on a legislative hearing into misconduct by two Michigan lawmakers who had an extramarital affair (all times local):

12 p.m.

An embattled Michigan lawmaker who tried to cover up his extramarital affair with another socially conservative legislator says he's sorry and a censure would give him a chance to restore his dignity and rebuild the public's trust.

Republican Rep. Todd Courser began testifying Wednesday before a House committee considering a recommendation from the chamber's top lawyer that he be expelled. Courser instead is seeking a censure, which would limit his work but let him stay in the position.

Courser apologized for sending a false email that claimed he was having sex with a male prostitute — an effort to make his relationship with Republican Rep. Cindy Gamrat less believable if it were exposed by an anonymous blackmailer.

He told the panel his actions were a "tremendous failure" and the "steps of a desperate person." He said he wanted to "die" at the time he talked with an aide about the email plot.

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10:55 a.m.

A Michigan panel weighing discipline for two lawmakers who tried covering up their extramarital affair with a fictional email is at odds over the testimony of a former top aide to the House speaker.

Majority Republicans on the committee objected to Democrats' questioning Wednesday of Norm Saari and struck his committee testimony from the record.

They say questions about whether the Republican speaker's then-chief of staff knew of any potential misconduct by Republican Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat are irrelevant.

Democrats say the questions are relevant to learn why two aides who worked for the legislators were fired.

Courser asked one of the staffers to send a false email that claimed Courser was having sex with a male prostitute — an effort to make his relationship with Gamrat less believable if it were exposed.

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1:30 a.m.

An embattled Michigan lawmaker who tried to cover up his extramarital affair with another socially conservative legislator is trying to save his job.

Republican Rep. Todd Courser is expected to testify Wednesday before a House committee considering a recommendation from the chamber's top lawyer that he be expelled. Courser instead is seeking a censure, which would limit his work but let him stay in the position.

In a letter to the committee a day earlier, Courser apologized for arranging an "outlandish" false email that claimed he was having sex with a male prostitute — an effort to make his relationship with Republican Rep. Cindy Gamrat less believable if it were exposed.

Courser is also offering to reimburse taxpayers for the misuse of public resources.

The House attorney has recommended censure as the punishment for Gamrat.

The panel will forward a disciplinary recommendation to the full House as early as this week.

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