Todd Courser: Where is Former Michigan Rep Now?

Image Credit: ABC News/YouTube

In August 2015, a news story about a bizarre, over-the-top plot to orchestrate a smear campaign against a Michigan House of Representatives member came to light. But what shocked everyone was that it was started by the very person who was the target. ABC News’ ‘20/20: A Capitol Offense’ focuses on how Todd Courser tried to spread falsehoods about him to deflect attention from his extramarital affair with another former lawmaker, Cindy Gamrat. So, if you’re wondering what happened to him since then, we’ve got you covered.

Who is Todd Courser?

Todd is from Lapeer County, Michigan, and grew up in that conservative, religious town. He made his foray into politics, yet didn’t have success early on. He lost a state House race in 2008 and a state Senate race in 2010, in addition to some other losses before seeing success in 2014. Todd and Cindy were considered conservative legislators- both were against abortion and same-sex marriage and tried to bring new legislation governing gun rights.

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Over time, Todd and Cindy combined their law offices and had their three aides working for both of them, including Ben Graham and Keith Allard. However, this was unusual because their districts were about 130 miles apart. According to Joshua Cline, a former aide, both would sit in meetings with lobbyists or constituents that only wanted to meet one of them. It was also reported that Todd and Cindy regularly left the office for hours on Thursday afternoons.

Then, in May 2015, the two legislators received anonymous text messages threatening to make their affair public and asked Todd to resign. On the night of May 19, he asked his aide, Ben, to come over to his office to discuss something. Todd wanted the latter to send an email regarding him to other Republican representatives. Ben, who recorded the conversation, later made it public. In it, Todd wanted the email to state that he was caught behind a Lansing, Michigan, nightclub having sex with a man.

While Todd admitted it was untrue, he wanted an obscene and over-the-top story about him out there as a way to “inoculate the herd.” He added, “It will make anything else that comes out after that — that isn’t a video — mundane, tame by comparison. In a controlled burn, you do a little bit of truth mixed in with a lot of lies.” It was reported that Todd wanted to do this to make the story of his affair with Cindy seem like it was part of the smear campaign.

Though Ben refused to participate, Todd sent the email out using a fake email address. It alleged that the legislator was a drug user and a “bi-sexual porn-addicted sex deviant.” It further accused Cindy of helping him cover up, leading to her removal from the House Republican Caucus. As per the show, the email didn’t receive much traction among the other representatives, and the anonymous texter never went public with information about the affair.

Nonetheless, Ben and Keith were soon relieved of their jobs, and the former then turned the recording over to a news agency. Once the story became public knowledge, Todd admitted to sending the email and said, “I could have resigned; this is really the option that anonymous texter wanted, and doing so quietly. I simply would have been submitting to the authority of the establishment machine and doing so to protect myself and my family.”

Although, Todd also claimed that he did so to try and gain more information about the person blackmailing him. He said, “The email was put in motion to disrupt the blackmailer and give me some clues as to the surveillance of my life. It was all done in a pressure cooker, and … it put me in a situation where a bad choice was the choice that I made.” He further accused Ben, Keith, and Joshua of bugging his and Cindy’s combined office.

Todd Courser is Focusing on His Law Career Today

In September 2015, Todd resigned from the House of Representatives. He said, “It’s an unfortunate chapter where we’re at, obviously for the state House, for the state, for the Legislature, for my own family. It’s time to turn a page and take a step forward and go in a different direction, obviously heal some stuff in my own house, and this House and this body can heal a little bit more as well.” While Todd ran for the same house seat later, he lost the race, receiving less than 4% of the votes.

Image Credit: WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7/YouTube

According to the show, Todd’s wife, Fon, forgave him. Besides, as per him, he ran for the house seat at his wife’s and children’s behest. In February 2016, Todd was charged with perjury and felony misconduct in office stemming from the same scandal. Nevertheless, he took a plea deal and pleaded no contest to willful neglect of duty by a public officer. As a result, Todd was sentenced to 12 months probation and a fine. To avoid a 45-day jail sentence, he was to complete 90 hours of community service. An investigation later revealed that Cindy’s then-husband, Joe, was responsible for the anonymous text messages.

Todd lives in Lapeer with his wife and four children and is still a staunch Republican. In April 2016, he ran for the Lapeer County Public Prosecutor’s post but lost. Today, he has returned to being an attorney at his law firm, Todd Courser & Associates PLLC. He has owned the firm since 1996 and continues to practice there. They specialize in bankruptcy law, tax resolution, and business law, among other things. In May 2021, Todd agreed to pay $20,000 to Detroit News to settle a defamation suit he filed.

Read More: Where is Cindy Gamrat Now?