Thursday, October 29, 2020

State-Rep. Inman Indicted On Charges Of Extortion, Bribery, Lying To FBI

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A grand jury has indicted State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) on charges of attempted extortion, bribery, and lying to the FBI in U.S. District Court.

Inman, who represents the 104th District of Grand Traverse County in Michigan, is accused of seeking payment from members of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCCM) in 2018 by text in exchange for a ‘no’ vote on repealing the state’s prevailing wage law. In several texts, detailed in the indictment, Inman asks for MRCCM members to increase their contributions to him in exchange for blocking the repeal, adding at the end of the texts, “We never had this discussion.”

MRCCM did not make additional contributions to Inman, and he ended up voting ‘yes’ in a 56-53 vote that successfully repealed the law. The charges continue that when an FBI agent confronted Inman about the texts and asked if he had communicated with MRCCM to solicit contributions in exchange for his vote, Inman denied having any such communications.

In response to the charges announced against him Wednesday, Inman (R-Williamsburg) provided the following written statement to The Ticker through legal counsel: “I am innocent of these charges. I have never compromised the integrity of my vote. I have always represented my constituency honestly and legally. I intend on vigorously fighting these charges and defending my reputation.”

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Meanwhile, House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) stripped Inman of his committee assignments Wednesday and had the House Business Office take control of Inman’s office. “Everyone in the House is surprised and disappointed by this news,” said Chatfield, who called on Inman to resign his seat.

Inman is due to appear in federal court on May 23. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison on the extortion charge, and 10 years and 5 years respectively on charges of bribery and lying to the FBI.

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