Interpretation Of Text Highlights Day Two of Rep. Inman Trial

The questioning and testimony in the federal bribery trial against State Representative Larry Inman continued Wednesday in Grand Rapids.

The Williamsburg Republican faces three charges, attempted bribery, extortion and lying to the FBI.

This all stems from a text message between Inman and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, campaign funding and a vote on prevailing wage in 2018.

The crux of this entire case comes down to a request for $30,000 from trades to Representative Inman’s campaign fund.

In the year leading up to the text message in question, Inman had received $6,000 total from the carpenter’s union.

Inman was under the impression they could work with other trade unions to get it to $30,000.

Lisa Canada from the carpenter’s union saw his text as a bribe, their money for his vote on prevailing wage.

Two other lobbyists that testified both agreed, one saying, “On its face it’s inappropriate,” and the other, “It was immediately apparent that that was not an appropriate text message.“

You can see the full text of the message here:

“Hi, Lisa. I hear the prevailing wage vote may be on Wednesday. In my opinion. we all need some help. Carpenters have been good to me. Where are we on 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. Leonard and Chatfield will go to the longest neck hold on this one. I have heard most got $5,000 not $30,000. It’s 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 to get people maxed out on Tuesday. I will do my best to hold. Chatfield will pull assignments for next term on this vote. You have no idea the pressure on this one for Leonards attorney general 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 all the trades by Monday. I suggest maxing out on all 12 or at least doubling what you gave them on Thursday. asap. We never had this discussion, Larry”

After Inman voted against the union on prevailing wage, the union says they supported his opponent in the primary and the recall efforts. The recall help was nowhere near the $60,000 Inman’s attorney says they donated.

“There’s a lack of consistency there but I’m not going to take it much further than that,” says Chris Cooke, Inman’s attorney, “I am just curious on how they funded that recall campaign but this may not be the venue to develop that.”

Inman’s team did not shut the door on Inman taking the stand in the coming days.

Thursday morning’s session is scheduled to begin with the questioning of current Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield.

Categories: Election 2020