State Rep. Larry Inman Denies Charges of Bribery, Attempted Extortion
The speaker of the Michigan House is asking a Northern Michigan representative to resign.
Republican Larry Inman of Traverse City has been indicted by a federal grand jury. The indictment accuses Inman of trying to sell his vote over a measure to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law.
He has denied the charges. Inman represents the 104th district. It is the entirety of Grand Traverse County.
He was first elected to the State House in 2014.
He’s been charged with attempted extortion, soliciting a bribe and lying to the FBI. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge.
Representative Inman, his fellow lawmakers in Lansing, and others are weighing in on the bombshell announcement.
The three count federal indictment shows the grand jury believes there’s enough evidence to charge Larry Inman and it traces back to text messages he allegedly sent from his phone.
A federal indictment alleges Inman solicited money from a labor union, the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, in exchange for a “no” vote on prevailing wage legislation.
The indictment shows that Inman suggested that a $5,000 campaign contribution wasn’t enough and he was asking for more money in advance of the house vote on the issue.
In the alleged text messages to a union lobbyist, Inman says “we only have 12, people to block (the legislation). You said all 12 will get $30,000 each to help their campaigns. That did not happen.”
He goes on to say, “I would suggest maxing out on all 12, or at least doubling what you have given them…” And he finishes the alleged text with the words, “we never had this discussion, Larry.”
When questioned by the FBI, Inman denied the text messages.
We tried to find Inman at home Wednesday, but there was no answer when we knocked on the door.
In a statement shared with 9&10 News, he denies the allegations.
Inman says “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.”
Most Republican Party leaders did not return our request for comment Wednesday, but county commissioner Rob Hentschel had this to say: “obviously if this is true it’s a major injury to the public trust. But you know he’s innocent until proven guilty and I just, hope everything gets worked out.”
Inman’s Democratic challenger in the 2018 election was Dan O’Neill.
His campaign manager released this statement Wednesday saying “the accusations contained in the federal grand jury’s indictment of Representative Inman are deeply concerning, but he is innocent until proven guilty, like every citizen in the 104, we’re concerned.”
Again Inman faces federal charges including attempted extortion, soliciting a bribe and lying to the FBI.
If convicted on all three charges, it adds up to 35 years in prison.
Stay with Northern Michigan’s News Leader as we continue to follow this developing case.