LANSING, Mich. (MEDIA GENERAL) – The Detroit News has obtained audio recordings that show State Rep. Todd Courser asking an aide to help him cover up an alleged affair with another local lawmaker.
In the recordings, Courser, a Republican from Lapeer, asks the aide to send out an anonymous email alleging Courser was caught having sex with a male prostitute. According to The Detroit News, the fake email was designed to create “a complete smear campaign” of exaggerated claims, so when reports of an affair between him and Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, were leaked, it would seem “mild by comparison.”
The aide, identified as Ben Graham, recorded two conversations between Courser and Gamrat, who do not deny their affair, but did not directly confirm their relationship.
“How long has this been going on? A year? Two years?” Graham asks on the recording.
Courser replied: “No. I mean, I don’t want to go through the circumstance of how that developed.” Later adding: “Some things happened and shouldn’t have happened.”
“I would ask you to just keep this private,” Gamrat told Graham on the recording. “This is not just about protecting me, it’s also about protecting Joe (Gamrat’s husband) and the kids.”
Graham, as well as Keith Allard, an aide for Gamrat, were fired in July, approximately a month after the two were given pay raises without public explanation.