After hours of contentious debate, Michigan House lawmakers expelled Rep. Cindy Gamrat for her involvement in a sex scandal with Rep. Todd Courser that had brought about his resignation hours before.
Courser resigned his position at 3:12 a.m., the Detroit Free Press
reported, and then Rep. Cindy Gamrat, who was involved in an affair with him, was expelled from the House by a 91-12 vote.
"I felt it was the appropriate thing to do. I put everybody through a whole bunch, my family, constituents and the people in this room," Courser told the Free Press of his decision to resign. "You go 14-15 hours later, they would have been doing a third vote. I felt they were just going to go until they got their answer."
The allegations of an affair between the two Tea Party Republicans had generated a sex scandal that dominated Michigan for the past few weeks. House investigators determined recently the pair had lied about their relationship and attempted to cover it up, CNN
Gamrat had asked the House members to censure rather than expel her, but they did not abide by her request, the newspaper reported.
"I firmly believe in restoration and redemption," the Free-Press quoted her. "I have done everything I can to redeem this situation and I'm sincerely sorry for what this has caused. I still believe my actions warrant censure, but not expulsion."
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Friday on Facebook that he supports a criminal investigation into the conduct of Gamrat and Courser.
On the post, many thought the governor and other state leaders should let it go because sex between the two was consensual and it was time to move on. Others, however, felt differently.
"They should've resigned in the beginning to avoid placing such a distraction and burden on the legislature. Now they must suffer the consequences of their selfish actions," one man wrote.
As for the scandal itself, the Free Press had been covering it for weeks as it unraveled and had the explanation down pat:
"The scandal swirling around Courser and Gamrat had been rumored for months, but burst onto the public scene last month when audio recordings surfaced and revealed that Courser had asked his staff to send an anonymous, 'false flag' e-mail that he had written, saying he was addicted to drugs and pornography, and paid for sex with men outside a Lansing bar. His staff refused to participate in the attempt to make it appear that Courser was the victim of a smear campaign and to downplay the affair he was having with Gamrat. But the e-mail still was widely sent around Lansing."
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