Skubick: Courser and Gamrat make first court appearances


LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Two former state lawmakers are facing prison time if convicted of their charges.

On Tuesday Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser made their first court appearances.

As 6 News Capital Correspondent Tim Skubick tells us, both of their stances have not wavered since we last heard from them months ago.

Former Representative Cindy Gamrat is fighting a cold and was in court fighting to stay out of prison.

We’re on the record now in the matter of the State of Michigan vs. Todd Courser.

Her former republican colleague Todd Courser was in court too telling reporters afterwards he’s innocent to all the charges that he committed perjury.

Reporter: “Did you lie to anybody?”

Todd Courser: “No, not to my, not to my recollection. We’ll have to look at really what they’re saying. I didn’t intentionally deceive anyone.”

Ms. Gamrat was advised by her attorney to remain silent. But he appears ready to drag the conduct of the Attorney General Bill Schuette into this case.

“Bill Schuette wanted to bring this thing back from the dead. Bill Schuette gets to prove his case now,” said Mike Nichols, layer for Cindy Gamrat.

Reporter: “How would you describe the charges against you client?”

Nichols: “Unique and unusual.”

The two former lawmakers gave no testimony on the merits of the case before the judge who has set a March 15 date for the preliminary exam.

District Court Judge Hugh Clarke, Jr. set bail at $5,000 for her, $7,500 for him.

Among the Attorney General’s charges, Mr. Courser of ordered his staff to sign pending legislation, called blue backs, when only lawmakers are supposed to do that.

“I don’t know who signed the blue backs. I can’t really, I can’t really determine that,” said Courser.

“So I don’t really want to comment further on that, Tim.”

Meanwhile the judge says he wants to talk with the attorney general’s lawyers and the defendant’s attorneys before any of this goes forward.

There’s speculation that his honor may want more information on the fact that the AG is using common law to charge these two ex-lawmakers.

“Obviously it’s a catch all provision, sort of vague on its face. Whether it’s even constitutional is really a question.”

Nobody from the AG’s Office was in the court room to respond to that.

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