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Probe: Mich. lawmakers in sex scandal misused taxpayer resources

DETROIT -- A preliminary investigation into two Michigan Republican lawmakers who had an affair found misconduct and misuse of taxpayer resources - a finding that could lead to their expulsion from the Legislature.

A draft report on the findings involving state Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat was submitted to an outside counsel for review, House Business Office Director Tim Bowlin said Monday in a news release.

"Asking an outside counsel to review the report is a normal process to protect the privacy and confidentiality of affected individuals and ensure compliance with Human Resources regulations," Bowlin said. "The findings will be made public once the legal review has been completed."

Michigan Rep. speaks on sex scandal, bizarre coverup 02:32

Courser, of Lapeer, and Gamrat, of Plainwell, both are married to other people.

The House Business Office conducted the probe to determine whether public resources were used to hide or divert attention from their affair and whether two aides who refused to help were wrongly fired.

"I have received a draft report to review, and there is troubling evidence of misconduct," House Speaker Kevin Cotter said in a statement. "I am directing my legal counsel to review the preliminary findings for the purposes of any further disciplinary actions."

The Associated Press left messages seeking comment Monday at the Lansing House offices of Courser and Gamrat, both first term representatives and social conservatives from the GOP's tea party wing.

State representative says he was blackmailed into publishing rumors 01:03

Courser has accused his staffers of attempting to blackmail him over the scandal. He said the attempted blackmail was why he admitted to orchestrating the distribution of a fictional email claiming he had sex with a male prostitute in a bid to conceal the extramarital relationship.

Gamrat and Courser have apologized, but said they didn't misuse resources. Both freshman tea party favorites have said they will not step down.

The Michigan House voted last week to form a special committee of four Republicans and two Democrats to investigate and make a recommendation on what should happen to Courser and Gamrat.

The state constitution allows the 109-member House to expel a member with a two-thirds vote and gives the chamber broad discretion to decide grounds for expulsion. Cotter said the panel, which will have subpoena powers and be able to administer oaths, also could recommend another form of discipline or no discipline.

Former aide: Rep. Courser was like Jekyll and Hyde 10:35

Last week, a former top aide to the two lawmakers said he warned the pair to knock off their shenanigans, but they dismissed him.

At a news conference, Joshua Cline said he told the pair in January they needed to establish "professional boundaries" between their increasingly salacious personal lives and their professional lives.

At that point, despite their districts over 100 miles apart, the pair had basically consolidated their offices into one physical space in which Courser would routinely get tucked it to sleep by Gamrat, Cline said. He also said he had in their shared office witnessed "long, romantic...hugs" between the outspoken social conservatives who base legislation on their Christian beliefs.

Cline also said the two would "disappear" for hours at a time, especially on Thursdays, and then return demanding food.

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