Courser found competent for trial on perjury charge
Lansing — Former Michigan state Rep. Todd Courser has been found competent to stand trial on a felony perjury charge and is set to go before a jury on May 22.
Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette set the trial date Wednesday despite objections from Courser’s attorney, who claims the case is being rushed through the discovery phase.
Collette in January ordered Courser to undergo a competency exam at the state Center for Forensic Psychiatry. The Lapeer Republican was evaluated and found competent to stand trial.
“There was never any doubt about that,” DePerno said. “He’s never done anything to demonstrate he wasn’t.”
Courser is accused of lying under oath during a legislative hearing about misconduct and misuse of state resources allegations stemming from his attempt to cover up an extramarital affair with former state Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell.
Audio recordings published by The News showed Courser asking a staffer to help him send a “false flag” email in which the legislator accused himself of having sex with a male prostitute, an apparent attempt to distract from the truth.
The House Business Office alleged both former legislators misused state resources to hide their affair, prompting expulsion hearings in Lansing. Courser resigned about an hour before Gamrat was expelled in the early morning hours of Sept. 11, 2015.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office filed multiple charges against the former tea party favorites in early 2016. All charges against Gamrat were later dismissed, along with three other charges against Courser.
Collette and DePerno have sparred on multiple occasions as Courser moves toward trial on a remaining perjury charge. Collette ejected DePerno from his courtroom during a late January hearing after the attorney filed a motion asking the judge to disqualify himself.
DePerno said Thursday he plans to file grievances with the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission and the Michigan State Bar.