May 16, 2019

Michigan GOP lawmaker accused of trying to sell vote, lying to FBI

Michigan House of Representatives.

Michigan House of Representatives. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A federal grand jury indicted a Michigan lawmaker Wednesday after he was accused of trying to sell his vote and lying to the FBI.

Details: Rep. Larry Inman (R-Traverse City) is charged with attempted extortion, soliciting a bribe and making a false statement to the FBI. He says he's innocent of all charges and rejected calls from Democrats to resign.

The big picture: The indictment alleges Inman sent a text message days before a June 2018 vote on repealing a state law requiring union wage rates on most public projects. The recipient was allegedly the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights — a union that previously contributed to his campaign, according to The Washington Post. He denied to the FBI "having any such communications," the indictment says.

"We will get a ton of pressure on this vote. Its not worth losing assignments and staff for $5,000. . . . My suggestion is you need to get people maxed out. I am not sure you can hold 12 [legislators considering blocking the repeal] for the only help of $5,000. . . . People will not go down for $5,000, not that we dont appreciate it."
— Text message Inman allegedly sent, according to the indictment

What's next? Inman is due to be arraigned in the federal court in Grand Rapids on May 23.

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