Former aides suing ex-lawmakers after sex scandal

In this Jan. 14, 2015 photo, Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, talks with Rep Todd Courser, R-Lapeer in the House of Representatives in Lansing. Courtesy of WOODTV

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD)— Aides for two Michigan lawmakers who left the state House amid a sex scandal say they were fired for trying to bring the affair to light.

In court documents obtained by 24 Hour News 8, Keith Allard and Ben Graham said they were fired in retaliation for telling the House business office about wrongdoing by Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.

>>READ: Lawsuit filed by former aides (PDF)

In a lawsuit filed against the lawmakers, Allard and Graham claim they told another staffer of the affair and other problems in early July, and Courser and Gamrat learned about their conversation. The aides said they were called into a meeting with Courser four days later, during which he allegedly told them they “could take the high road or the low road out of Lansing.” Court records indicated the House business director was then called in and fired the staffers.

Allard and Graham’s lawsuit claims they are protected whistle blowers. It also accused the former lawmakers of libel and slander, after Courser said the two were connected to a blackmail scheme. Courser and Gamrat also claimed the aides were fired for substandard performance. Allard and Graham hired a Grand Rapids lawyer, who sent Courser a warning letter telling him he needed to retract his statements about her clients.

House lawmakers expelled Gamrat on Sept. 11, shortly after Courser resigned. Both are now seeking re-election.

Copyright 2015 WOOD. All rights reserved.

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