Federal Indictment of Michigan’s Larry Inman Mentions ’12 People’ Connected to Cash-for-Votes Scheme

 

Michigan State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Grand Traverse County) was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges of attempted extortion, bribery, and lying to an FBI agent.

The crimes carry sentences of 20 years, 10 years, and five years, respectively. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan explains in a press release that Inman is accused of soliciting money via text messages to a Michigan labor union in June 2018. In exchange for the payments, Inman said he would cast a dissenting vote on a conservative legislative initiative to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law.

Evidently, Inman did not receive the money he was looking for since he voted in favor of repealing the wage law in a vote of 56 to 53.

The indictment, however, seems to suggest that the alleged money-for-votes scheme extended far beyond Inman alone, as one source familiar with the inner workings of the Michigan House pointed out to The Ohio Star.

Take, for instance, a text message cited in the indictment that Inman sent to a representative of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (referred to in the indictment as the MRCCM) on June 3 2018.

Inman wrote, quoted verbatim and including grammatical errors, the following:

“Hi [Person A], I hear the prevailing wage vote may be on Wednesday. In my opinion, We all need some more help! Carpenters have been good to me, where are the rest of the trades on checks? We only have 12, people to block it. You said all 12 will get $30,000 each to help there campaigns. That did not happen, we will get a ton of pressure on this vote. [Person B and Person C] will go on the longest neck hold on this one. I have heard most got $5,000, not $30,000. Its not worthy losing assignments and staff for $5,000, in the end. They will give you the check back. I am not sure you can hold 12 people for the only help of $5,000. My suggestion is you need to get people maxed out, on Tuesday, I will do my best to hold [Person C] will pull assignments for next term on this vote. You have no idea the pressure on this one for [Person B’s state] race, to pull this off for the tea party. People will not go down for $5,000, not that we don’t appreciate it. Please get with the all the trades by Monday, I would suggest maxing out on all 12, or at least doubling what you have given them on Tuesday, asap, we never had this discussion, Larry.”

On the same day, Inman sent a similar text message to a “lobbyist in Lansing, Michigan, who was retained by MRCCM,” and again mentioned “12 people” whose contributions should be “maxed out.”

Inman said:

“We all need some more help! Carpenters have been good to me, where are the rest of the trades on checks? We only have 12, people to block it. [Person A] said all 12 will get $30,000 each to help there campaigns That did not happen, we will get a ton of pressure on thst vote, [Person B and Person C] will go to the longest neck hold on this one. I have heard most got $5,000, not $30,000. Its not worth losing assignments and staff for $5,000, in the end. They will give you the check back. I am not sure you can hold 12 people for the only help of $5,000. My suggestion is you need to get people maxed out, on Tuesday, I will do my best to hold [Person C] will pull assignments for next term on this vote. You have no idea the pressure on this one for [Person B’s state] race, to pull this off. People will not go down for $5,000, not that we don’t appreciate it. Get with all the trades by Monday, I would suggest doubling what you given on Tuesday, asap, we never had this discussion, get with [Person A]. L”

Then, according to the indictment, an FBI agent asked Inman about his solicitation attempts and “knowingly made a false statement to the agent” by denying that the communications cited above ever happened.

A source familiar with the situation, who asked to remain anonymous, noted that the case involves 12 state representatives who will try to sweep the story under the rug and let “Inman hang alone.”

The source said that these representatives are now vulnerable to “cave” on other pieces of legislation because their political opponents “have leverage against them.”

Inman continues to maintain that he is innocent of all charges, but the fallout from the indictment has already begun. Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) called on Inman to resign and stripped him of his committee assignments, according to Up North Live.

“I’ve asked Representative Inman to resign from his official capacity as state representative and he told me that it would be under consideration,” Chatfield said.

Inman provided a brief statement to Up North Live through his attorney.

“I am innocent of these charges. I have never compromised the integrity of my vote. I have always represented my constituency honestly and legally,” Inman said. “I intend on vigorously fighting these charges and defending my reputation.”

The full indictment can be read below:

Inman Indictment

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to anthony.gockowski@gmail.com.
Photo “Larry Inman” by Larry Inman. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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