The Latest: Michigan House short of votes to expel member

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Posted: Sep 10, 2015 5:16 PM
The Latest: Michigan House short of votes to expel member

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The latest on two Michigan lawmakers facing expulsion for an extramarital affair cover-up (all times local):

5:05 p.m.

The Michigan House so far does not have enough support to expel a lawmaker for his role in covering up an extramarital affair with another legislator.

Sixty-seven members of the Republican-led chamber have voted to kick out Rep. Todd Courser, a Republican. But six more are needed for a supermajority, and dozens of Democrats are refusing to vote Thursday as the voting board remains open potentially for hours.

Republicans says it's time to move beyond the bizarre sex scandal that is damaging the House as an institution. Democrats have questions about how a House panel conducted its investigation.

Courser and Republican Rep. Cindy Gamrat are facing expulsion, which has happened just three times in the Legislature's history.

An aide to Gamrat and Courser who was later fired secretly recorded Courser asking him to send a phony email to make the affair less believable if it were exposed by an anonymous blackmailer.

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1:45 p.m.

A Michigan legislator says she's "shocked" a panel is recommending expulsion for her involvement in a bizarre cover-up attempt of her extramarital affair with another lawmaker.

Republican Rep. Cindy Gamrat tells The Associated Press she won't resign before the House votes, possibly later Thursday. She says while no promises were made, she "was coerced" to admit to various allegations of wrongdoing with an understanding that the committee would support a censure.

She says not everything in a House investigation is true.

Gamrat is "very disappointed" majority Republicans blocked Democrats' attempts to hear from staffers who worked for her and Republican Rep. Todd Courser.

An aide to Gamrat and Courser, who was later fired, secretly recorded Courser asking him to send a phony email to make the affair less believable if it were exposed by an anonymous blackmailer.

Gamrat says the speaker's office knew of recordings and should have notified her that her aides were recording her.

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11:10 a.m.

A Michigan lawmaker says he's not planning to resign before the state House votes on whether to expel him from office for misconduct stemming from a cover-up of his extramarital affair with another legislator.

Republican Rep. Todd Courser tells reporters the proceedings have been "really, really short." He agrees with Democrats who abstained from voting because they wanted to subpoena former legislative aides to testify under oath.

A House panel recommended expulsion for Courser and Republican Rep. Cindy Gamrat on Thursday. The full House could vote later in the day, but it's unclear if Democrats will join majority Republicans.

Gamrat's attorney, Mike Nichols, says it's possible she might resign rather than be expelled.

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10:35 a.m.

A Michigan panel has recommended expulsion for two lawmakers who admitted to misconduct in covering up their extramarital affair.

A House disciplinary committee voted Thursday that tea party Republicans Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat should be expelled.

Just three legislators have been expelled in Michigan history.

The recommendation now goes to the full House where a two-thirds vote is needed for them to be removed from office.

Courser and Gamrat have apologized and had asked for censure, allowing them to keep their jobs in restricted roles.

Courser sent a phony email claiming he was caught with a male prostitute. It was an effort to make the affair less believable if it were exposed by an anonymous blackmailer.

Gamrat says she discussed the plot with Courser but didn't know the email's content in advance.

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9:25 a.m.

A Michigan panel is set to recommend expulsion or a lighter punishment for two lawmakers who admit to misconduct in covering up their extramarital affair.

The state House could move quickly Thursday after the recommendations are forwarded from a disciplinary committee.

Just three legislators have been expelled in Michigan history.

Tea party Republicans Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat have apologized and asked the wary panel for a censure letting them keep their jobs in a restricted role.

Courser sent a phony email claiming he was caught with a male prostitute, hoping that this would make the affair less believable if it were exposed by an anonymous blackmailer demanding his resignation.

Gamrat says she discussed the plot with Courser but didn't know the email's content before it was sent.