FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan
September 17, 2015
Five Questions Attorney General and State Police Should Answer in Investigations
Investigation into Courser and Gamrat not complete until all questions answered
LANSING — Progress Michigan is calling on Attorney General Bill Schuette and the Michigan State Police to expand beyond the scope of the House Business office investigation into the Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat and to seek answers to questions not addressed in Speaker Cotter’s investigation that led to the ouster of both elected officials. Progress Michigan is asking both agencies to get the answers the five questions before wrapping up their respective investigations.
“Kevin Cotter has used his power as Speaker of the House to ensure that his investigation was limited in scope, the select committee hearings were for show and the outcome was predetermined,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Thanks to the stand taken by members of the House of Representatives, a full investigation can take place outside of the political influence of Speaker Kevin Cotter. We are urging Attorney General Schuette and the Michigan State Police to expand the scope and answer important questions still left unanswered.”
The five questions that still need to be addressed are below:
1. What did Speaker Kevin Cotter know and when did he know it?
Speaker Cotter’s Chief of Staff met with Courser/Gamrat staffers in January about problems in the office and Cotter was briefed about that meeting [page 680 of full House Business Office report.]
2. What do the fired staffers know, who did they inform and when?
These staffers are key to the investigation yet Representative Ed McBroom blocked their testimony during the committee hearings. These staff members know both the full extent of actions taken by Courser and Gamrat in office and the involvement of Speaker Cotter and other members of House GOP leadership.
3. Did Speaker Cotter use taxpayer resources to cover up his involvement?
The investigation and select committee were under the complete control and authority of the Speaker. Did the Speaker direct, encourage or allow Tim Bowlin, Brock Swartzle, Representative Ed McBroom or anyone else to hide evidence of his involvement?
4. Were Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat pressured or offered deals to work more closely with leadership?
Did Speaker Cotter or others attempt to pressure lawmakers prior to their affair being made public?
5. Did the Governor, his staff, or Senate leadership know about Norm Saari’s involvement prior to his appointment to the Public Service Commission?
Saari’s appointment was made prior to the revelations of his involvement in the scandal, yet a Senate panel approved his appointment without using its subpoena power to explore his involvement.
“After Speaker Cotter’s amateurish handling of the situation in the shared office of Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, an arrangement he authorized, and the internal investigation and expulsion proceeding, the House of Representatives’ reputation and integrity have been damaged,” Scott continued. “Only a full, fair, impartial investigation will give Michigan taxpayers an opportunity to know the full truth and help restore trust in the Michigan House of Representatives.”