TRAVERSE CITY — A Tuesday motion could mean state Rep. Larry Inman doesn’t stand trial until September — when the Michigan House of Representatives returns to session.
The request, submitted by federal lawyers for review at next week’s pretrial conference, asks for more time to case-build and review evidence. Inman, R-Williamsburg, was indicted in May on charges of soliciting bribes, attempted extortion and lying to the FBI, all of which he’s pleaded not guilty to.
The 104th District lawmaker has since faced protests and calls from fellow legislators for his resignation.
If granted, the new motion would delay Inman’s trial for 30 days, from the currently set Aug. 6 to Monday, Sept. 9.
Federal prosecutors called the action “in the public’s best interest” and said that Inman’s “‘unusual’ and ‘complex’” case requires more review.
They would use those additional days to review medical documentation behind Inman’s claim that “diminished capacity” due to chronic opioid use means he didn’t have the intent to commit the crimes, the court motion states. Inman announced last month his long-term opioid use stemming from several surgeries. The defense claims the Republican has little memory of the incidents that spurred charges.
Prosecutors also intend to seek expert review and determine whether Inman should be referred for a mental competency exam.
Inman’s attorney Chris Cooke plans to fight the motion. He argues that previous notice of those records should have given prosecutors ample time for review.
“We think time is of the essence — we don’t want to be going into September and having both this trial and opposition (from other lawmakers),” he said. “We want to get this resolved one way or another for Larry.”
The May felony charges came after investigators said they discovered June 2018 text messages between Inman and Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights members offering a “no” vote on the state’s prevailing wage law repeal attempt — with a $30,000 price tag, as previously reported.
Investigators accused him of making similar offers to International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers members.
Voters elected Inman to represent the 104th District in 2014, and despite calls for his resignation, Cooke said Inman has no plans to resign.
The case’s next action comes during a final pretrial conference on July 19.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined comment on the case. Inman deferred questions to Cooke.