Courser Asked Sheriff About Text Messages; Now Working With FBI
August 17, 2015
Rep. Todd Courser (R-Lapeer) asked Lapeer County Sheriff Ronald Kalanquin the process of tracking the identity of the person behind a cell phone number shortly after the Legislature adjourned for the summer recess a couple months ago.
The first-term House member was allegedly attempting to track down the identity of a cyber-stalker who was blackmailing him to resign or witness information on his affair with Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R-Plainwell) go public.
However, Courser didn’t indicate he wanted to pursue the matter after he was told it would likely involve a formal complaint and a warrant issued by a judge, thereby creating a public record, Kalanquin said.
Kalanquin declined to speculate on why Courser did ask him to pursue the matter, but presumably working with law enforcement would have required him to make statements about his affair in a police report that could later be obtained by the public.
Courser is not working with the Lapeer County Sheriff in trying to figure out the identity of the blackmailer. Rather, MIRS has learned Courser spent more than two hours speaking with a FBI agent in Flint about the matter Tuesday afternoon, a piece of information neither Courser nor the FBI would confirm or deny.
Back in June and July, when rumors about the Courser/Gamrat affair were the talk of Lansing, Kalanquin said he visited Courser to get a legislative update on law enforcement-related matters.
During that visit, Courser brought up the feasibility of getting information about the identity of cell phone caller. Kalanquin informed him that cell phone companies now are only releasing that information to law enforcement when presented with a warrant signed by a judge.
In order to get a warrant, investigators need to present the information that led up to the request, which would require some type of complaint being filed, Kalanquin said.
It was during this meeting that Courser told his local sheriff that he believed his office was bugged and that people were “out to get him.”
“He said that people did not like him and the power elite were out to get him,” said Kalanquin, who declined to offer an opinion on whether Courser should now resign amid the public release of information on the scandal.
“This is a regretful, sad situation involving a young man with a bright political future,” Kalanquin said. “Whether he should resign is a decision he has to make.”
Meanwhile, Tim Bowlin, director of the House Business Office, said he hopes to conclude interviews for his investigation, which was requested by the House speaker, by next Thursday.
By the end, there will have been between 15 and 20 total interviews.
After concluding the interviews, Bowlin said he would then have to finalize his report. That’s unless he finds something worthy of forwarding to law enforcement.
“It’s proceeding and I’m going as deliberatively as possible and expeditiously as possible,” Bowlin said.
In other news on the Courser/Gamrat story Wednesday, House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills), as promised, sent his letter to Attorney General Bill Schuette requesting the AG begin an investigation into the “number of criminal allegations and counter-allegations levied” as part of this developing story.
“Due to the criminal allegations, I believe it is in the best interest of the taxpayers of Michigan, as well as the Michigan House of Representatives, for a law enforcement entity with subpoena power to investigate this matter and bring it to a speedy resolution,” Greimel wrote. “For these reasons, I am requesting that your office take immediate investigative action into this matter.”