State Approves Petition For Inman Recall

Two and a half months ago, a federal grand jury indicted State Representative Larry Inman of Traverse City for lying to the FBI and attempted bribery and extortion.

Since that time, he has been removed from his responsibilities in Lansing but still holds the title.

Since that time the voters of Grand Traverse County have not had representation in Lansing and today was a big step towards removing him from office.

Not only is Representative Inman facing charges in the federal court in Grand Rapids, he also has constituents in Grand Traverse County calling for him to resign and even more calling for a recall election. That’s where we are today as the State Board of Canvassers approved the language for the recall petition

“At the end of the day maybe we don’t get the signatures and this is all a moot point,” says Michael Naughton, attorney for the petition sponsors, “But I think it’s important for people in Traverse City to come to Lansing and say, ‘Hey, I think there’s a problem and we want to change it and do it the right way.”

There’s a growing constituency that wants Larry Inman out of office, whether he is cleared of wrong doing or not, they what somebody else that can represent them in Lansing.

“When I am told you missed 80 votes and it doesn’t have an impact on your district? That should tell you all you need to know about this,” says Naughton.

A big hurdle was cleared today as the language of the petition was approved by the state. After a short appellate window, petitioners will have 60 days to collect 12,201 signatures from Grand Traverse County voters. That’s a quarter of the voters in the last gubernatorial election.

“Traverse City is a popular vacation town and people are going to be standing on the corners handing out petitions talking about my client,” says Inman’s attorney Chris Cooke, “How do I pick a fair jury?”

That’s where Inman and his team have an issue. His federal trial is set to begin inside that petition window and a widespread campaign could hinder his right to a fair trial.

“What if the judge dismisses the whole thing?” says Cooke, “That’s why it’s important to just take time. Don’t rush. The jury is going to make this decision.”

Whether the petition goes through or not, the federal case against him will continue on. He is scheduled to be in court again on August 9.