Ex-Rep. Courser headed toward trial on perjury charge

Jonathan Oosting
The Detroit News
Todd Courser

Lansing — Former state Rep. Todd Courser appears headed toward trial after the Michigan Supreme Court rejected his request to dismiss a charge of alleged perjury.

The state’s highest court issued an order Tuesday denying Courser’s application to reconsider a Court of Appeals decision. Justices offered no explanation for the decision, stating only that “we are not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court.”

Courser resigned from the Michigan House in 2015 to avoid expulsion amid allegations he misused state resources to cover-up an extramarital affair with fellow state Rep. Cindy Gamrat, a West Michigan Republican who was expelled.

In the ongoing Ingham County criminal case, the Lapeer area Republican is accused of making false statements under oath before a House committee convened to examine his qualifications to remain in office.

Courser had sought to dismiss the charge, claiming legislative immunity under the speech and debate clause of the Michigan Constitution.

A three-judge Court of Appeals panel rejected the claim in October, ruling Courser is not entitled to legislative immunity because he is not being prosecuted for any speech, debate or deliberation related to legislation.

Rather, he is being prosecuted for his “personal conduct at a hearing called to address his potential misconduct in office," the appeals panel ruled.

Courser's attorney, Matthew DePerno declined comment on the Michigan Supreme Court order. The case is now expected to head back to Ingham County Circuit Court for consideration and potential trial.