The story of Todd Courser's brief rise and very long fall appears to be coming to an end.
Four years after the former state representative from Lapeer was revealed to be conducting an extramarital affair with a colleague -- and instructing his staff to spread an outlandish cover story, in hopes the rumors wouldn't be believed -- Courser's legal ordeal ends with a no-contest plea to a misdemeanor charge of "willful neglect of duty by a public officer."
The Free Press reports that Attorney General Dana Nessel will drop an additional perjury charge. And that will conclude the state's case against Courser, who was swept into office in a Tea Party wave in the 2014 election, but didn't last a year.
He made an early alliance with fellow conservative freshmen Gary Glenn and Cindy Gamrat, but the trio alienated other members of the Repubican caucus in Lansing. Gamrat was barred from caucus meetings for violating its rules, and Glenn distanced himself from the pair. Courser and Gamrat embarked on an extramarital affair, which was discovered by Gamrat's husband. Fearing disclosure, Courser came up with the idea of having his staff send a mass email to Republicans, reporting wild rumors that Courser was gay and promiscuous, hoping that when the affair was revealed, it would be considered part of the rumor mill.
(If this is difficult to follow, rest assured you are not alone.)
Nessel released a statement, as reported by the Free Press:
“Today’s decision by Todd Courser to plead no-contest to a one-year misdemeanor may be the wisest decision he has made in years,” Nessel said. “This case has had a long, torturous history and his decision to acknowledge responsibility for his actions is long overdue.”
The no contest plea means that Courser neither admits nor disputes the charges, but it has the same implication as a guilty plea and is often used as part of a plea bargain. He didn't return a phone call from the Free Press to comment on the plea bargain.
... When the scheme became public, the House of Representatives moved to remove the pair from office. Courser ultimately resigned before the House could vote to expel him, while Gamrat was removed from office by a 91-12 vote.
Courser is back in Lapeer, practicing tax and estate law. For a while, he had a show on 910am Superstation.