State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) wasn’t the first Michigan lawmaker to get busted for bad behavior. And let’s face it — he probably won’t be the last.
We’ve had several recent resignations and one expulsion. Here’s a brief roundup of House and Senate members who have left the Legislature under a cloud:
State Sen. Bert Johnson (D-Highland Park), resigned in 2018.
Johnson resigned after pleading guilty to a federal theft crime and admitting he conspired to steal more than $23,000 from taxpayers for putting a “ghost employee” on his payroll. He was sentenced to 90 days in prison. Now-state Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) won the special election to replace him.
State Rep. Brian Banks (D-Detroit), resigned in 2017.
Shortly after winning re-election — in spite of his indictments — Banks resigned after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of filing false financial statements. He had been facing four criminal charges related to falsifying loan documents. Banks received a one-day jail sentence. Now-Rep. Tenisha Yancey (D-Detroit) won the special election to replace him.
State Sen. Virgil Smith (D-Detroit), resigned in 2016.
Smith was arrested in May 2015 and pleaded guilty to malicious destruction for shooting up his ex-wife’s car during a fight. After a long saga, Smith finally stepped down three days after he began a 10-month jail sentence. Now-former state Sen. Ian Conyers (D-Detroit) won a special election to replace him.
State Rep. Todd Courser (R-Lapeer), resigned in 2015.
Courser resigned after the months-long drama that gripped the Capitol when he and fellow Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R-Plainwell) were accused of misconduct and misusing taxpayer resources to hide their extramarital affair. He is facing a perjury charge for lying under oath. His replacement via special election is now-Rep. Gary Howell (R-North Branch).
State Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R-Plainwell), expelled in 2015.
Gamrat faced the same issues as her former paramour, but did not step down during an all-night session and was thus expelled. She now goes by Cindy Bauer. She and Courser in 2018 both filed suits against the state of Michigan regarding their alleged treatment. Bauer was replaced in a special election by now-Rep. Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Twp.).
State Sen. David Jaye (R-Washington Twp.), expelled in 2001.
It’s old school, but no list would be complete without the Macomb County uber-conservative who had three drunken driving convictions. Jaye was charged, but never convicted, of physically assaulting his fiancé on two separate occasions and having sexually explicit photos on his Senate-owned computer.
Voters replaced him with now-former Sen. Alan Sanborn (R-Richmond). The special primary election happened to be held on Sept. 11, 2001.