LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The man who blew the whistle on an extramarital affair between two legislators, who might have misused public resources in an attempt to cover up their relationship, is possibly about to be involved in a scandal of his own.
According to a report by West Michigan Politics, Josh Cline — a former aide to state representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat — is among millions of users outed this week by hackers of the cheating website Ashley Madison.
The controversial website markets itself as a meeting place for spouses seeking extramarital affairs.
The political blog went over hacked data from Ashley Madison, which apparently indicates that an address in Attica, Michigan has been a subscriber of the website for at least three years. Going over Lapeer County records, the blog discovered that the address is registered to Cline, who is married.
Cline has not yet commented on the report.
Earlier this week, Cline spoke publicly about the lawmakers’ sex scandal, saying he confronted Courser and Gamrat about having an “inappropriate physical relationship.”
“Representative Courser often openly told Rep. Gamrat how beautiful she was or how nice she looked that day,” Cline said. “It was excessively personal and quite awkward to witness.”
Cline said the lawmakers would often share loving embraces and would leave with each other for long periods of time. He said he went to both Courser and Gamrat to voice his concerns.
“I suggested that they should adopt and enforce professional and personal boundaries,” Cline said. “They quickly dismissed my concerns and impressed upon me that as a mere staffer such a suggestion was not my place.”
The Republican lawmakers, who took office with tea party backing, have apologized for having an extramarital affair with one another. Courser admitted that he orchestrated a smear campaign against himself in which he had an email sent to Republican supporters from an anonymous account accusing him of having had sex with a male prostitute. Courser said he did so to distract attention from the actual affair, which he feared was about to become public.
In a long audio statement Courser recently released, he said Cline, who quit in April, and other former aides tried to “blackmail” him to resign. He said the self-directed smear campaign also was an attempt to try and disrupt those who were blackmailing him. Michigan State Police are investigating the blackmail claims.
Courser, 43, and Gamrat, 42, are the subjects of a state House investigation into whether they misused public resources to hide their relationship and fired another aide for refusing to help. Neither lawmaker plans to quit and Gamrat has denied a role in the cover-up.
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