Rep. Gamrat: "I'm not here to resign today. I'm just here to say, 'I'm sorry.'"
Update 5:32 pm:
Keith Allard, an aide shared by Reps. Courser and Gamrat, issued this response via Twitter: "I look forward to cooperating with any investigation to ensure that taxpayers are protected and faith in our institutions can be restored. Most important, an investigation will reveal the truth. There is absolutely no truth to the accusations against me by Mrs. Gamrat, as will be proven."
State Representative Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, broke her silence today on a scandal that has shaken the establishment in Lansing.
Gamrat said, while she gave it consideration, she decided not to resign and will return next week when lawmakers return to session.
Her husband by her side, Gamrat thanked her family for sticking by her despite making poor personal choices. She said the extra-marital affair she had with State Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer, was known to her family and was something they were working through “privately.”
House leaders are investigating whether she and Courser tried to force their office staffs to be part of a scheme to cover up their affair. Both Gamrat and Courser are “tea party” Republicans. After they were elected last November, the two decided to combine offices and share legislative staff.
According to Chad Livengood of The Detroit News, who broke the story on August 7, staffers confronted them about the affair. The two were later fired.
Courser and Gamrat both declined to comment about whether the dismissals of Graham and Allard were related to their unwillingness to help hide their relationship. “I’m not going to talk about any kind of staff-related issues,” Gamrat said in a telephone interview Monday.
Today, Gamrat says the staffer was not fired for bringing up the affair, but for poor performance.
From Chad Livengood and Gary Heilein of The Detroit News:
The Plainwell Republican said she fired aide Keith Allard because of constituent complaints and “poor work performance.” She said she didn’t break any state laws. Gamrat also claimed that she never told Courser aide Ben Graham not to tell anyone else about the relationship between her and Courser during a May 21 meeting in her House office.
Courser has posted statements on his web page and social media saying he and Gamrat are targets of the Lansing Republican establishment, and victims of a blackmail attempt.
When asked if she was blackmailed, Gamrat said she has turned over texts she received to the Michigan State Police.
*This post has been updated.