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Gamrat offers tearful apology as hearings open this morning

State Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, offered a tearful apology this morning as hearings opened on possible disciplinary action against her and Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer.

She begged for forgiveness and asked for censure rather than being removed from office.

“It is with a sincere and genuine heart, that I apologize to you today for the failures I have committed which do not reflect the heart of who I am, the values I believe in, nor the people I serve.”

The House legal counsel recommended censure for Gamrat, but said Courser should be expelled immediately. The special committee is expected to meet into the afternoon and tomorrow. The committee will make a recommendation to the full House. It would take a two-thirds vote of the House to remove a lawmaker.

In a https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfsSH8Ot4aU">press conference held last month, Gamrat said she had no knowledge of Rep. Courser's plan to send a phony e-mail designed to distract people from their affair. Today, she admitted knowing about the e-mail.

More from Jonathan Oosting of MLive:

For the first time, Gamrat acknowledged that she and Courser discussed the concept of a "controlled burn" email he eventually sent in an attempt to discredit any real revelations of their affair, although she said she did not know specific contents of the email at the time. "I take full responsibility for my role in Representative Courser's plan and the resulting harm it has caused," said Gamrat, who had previously and publicly denied any knowledge of the email before it was sent.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.