FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan
September 10, 2015
Cotter’s Committee Votes to Shield Speaker
Independent investigation only way to get the whole truth
LANSING — Progress Michigan is continuing its demand for an independent investigation into the Courser-Gamrat scandal after the committee hand-picked by Speaker Cotter rushed to complete its hearings without key testimony or answering questions about Cotter’s involvement in this scandal. The committee’s Republicans voted to recommend expulsion of both Representative Todd Courser and Representative Cindy Gamrat.
The extremely limited scope and haste of the “investigative hearings”, and the Republican actions on the committee demonstrate the need for an independent investigation that covers what House Speaker Kevin Cotter’s office knew about the scandal, when they knew it, and what they did about it.
“Kevin Cotter’s investigation and this committee appear to be nothing more than the use of taxpayer dollars to cover himself politically,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “This committee took its cues from a report ordered by the Speaker and prepared by his at-will employees, and from Cotter’s legal counsel and chief of staff. Essentially, Cotter was chief inquisitor, judge, jury and executioner.”
During the course of the three-day hearing, the committee refused to grant itself subpoena power and call key witnesses, struck important testimony from the record and failed to expand the scope to the Speaker’s office despite evidence that Cotter and his staff knew about the problems in the Courser/Gamrat office for months and failed to do anything about them.
“The full House must demand an independent investigation into all parties involved and not take its direction from a committee that seems to have conducted a three-day, show trial with a predetermined outcome,” Scott continued. “This Republican-led committee is an embarrassment to the institution of the Michigan House of Representatives. It would appear that this was nothing more than Kevin Cotter using a McBroom to sweep his involvement under the rug.”