TRAVERSE CITY — A delay in court procedure didn’t delay a local group’s call for Representative Larry Inman’s resignation Thursday.
“We know that he should do the right thing and resign,” said Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers in front of a small crowd of about 100 on the steps of the 13th Circuit Court. “We know this is a bipartisan effort. The Republicans and the Democrats are on the same page on this.”
Inman’s arraignment, which was originally set for 3:30 p.m. Thursday in Grand Rapids at the U.S. Western District Court, was rescheduled three times — first to 2 p.m. May 28, then to 2 p.m. May 29 and then back to 2 p.m. May 28 — because of judge availability and Inman’s attorney, Christopher Cooke, being away from his office.
The move follows a May 14 indictment that accused Inman of offering a vote for sale in last year’s repeal of the state’s prevailing wage.
A grand jury charged the 104th District Republican with attempted extortion, solicitation of a bribe and lying to an FBI agent — all felonies. Inman could spend up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted on all counts.
Inman is accused of sending text messages to members of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights on June 3, 2018, seeking $30,000 in exchange for his “no” vote on the 2018 effort to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law, which sets wage and benefit rates paid to construction workers on state projects. The union publicly opposed the repeal.
U.S. Attorney Christopher O’Connor will introduce text messages showing Inman also solicited campaign contributions from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers regarding the vote prevailing wage on June 1.
Inman voted to approve the repeal and the state House followed suit, repealing the law by a 56 to 53 vote.
O’Connor could not be reached for comment on whether this evidence would lead to more charges against Inman.
Court documents show the U.S. Attorney’s office will provide summaries of an FBI interviews in August and December 2018, two phone calls to the FBI on Oct. 16-17, 2018, grand jury testimony, data from Inman’s cell phone and other evidence found through searches of Inman’s office and residence, a recorded phone call between Inman and “Person A” on June 19, 2018, bank records, phone records and MRCCM records.
Both parties have requested a jury trial, which the U.S. Attorney’s office estimates will take three days.
Court documents show the government will not move to reduce the charges if Inman pleads guilty less than two weeks before the final pretrial conference.
Inman, who was removed from the Republican Caucus on Tuesday, previously told the Record-Eagle that the investigators are wrong and that he will not resign.