|Howard, left, Cotter, right|
By Brandon Hall
It looks like the leaders of the Michigan House may regret not settling a lawsuit brought in federal court recently by former Gamrat/Courser staffers Ben Graham and Keith Allard...
In an appearance on last week's "Off The Record," Sarah Howard, attorney for Graham and Allard, put Speaker Cotter on notice, saying she will not only call Cotter to the stand, she will also use the discovery process to uncover important, secret communications between Cotter and his Chief of Staff, Norm Saari, along with anyone else who may have been part of behind the scenes discussions.
The state will attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed, though that is unlikely to be granted. Speaker Cotter is expected to invoke legislative privilege if asked to testify, but the Speaker would have an immensely difficult time keeping Allard and Graham for procuring documents many believed would never see the public eye.
Howard noted on OTR, as she does in the lawsuit, that Cotter knew as early as February that drama was running rampant in the Gamrat/Courser office. Cotter apparently walked in on a meeting between Allard, Graham, and Sarai...
Howard made it clear that her clients adamantly opposed going to court if a settlement could be reached, but the Speaker's office had no interest in taking that route.
Now, as accusations of a twisted cover up grow louder, this controversy takes center stage heading into 2016 with huge potential implications for not only the Speaker and his team, but the Michigan Republican Party all across Pure Michigan.
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com