Republican Michigan state Rep. Larry Inman has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of attempted extortion, bribery and lying to an agent of the FBI for allegedly trying to solicit money from a local labor union in exchange for a favorable vote, according to the Justice Department indictment on Wednesday.
“Specifically, Inman is accused of soliciting money via text messages he sent between June 3-5, 2018, to a labor union, the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCCM), in exchange for voting ‘no’ on the 2018 legislative initiative petition to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law,” the indictment says.
The wage law, which was repealed following the 2018 vote, regulated the aspects of pay and benefits for workers involved with state construction projects.
In a message sent to a representative of MRCCM (referred to as “Person A” in the indictment), Inman allegedly wrote: “Hi [Person A], I hear the prevailing wage vote may be on Wenesday. In my opinion, We all need some more help! Carpenters have been good to me, where are 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.”
The MRCCM had made political contributions to Inman in the past, according to the indictment.
The Hill reports:
The indictment included additional messages that were allegedly sent by Inman to the labor union representative.
Inman eventually ended up voting in favor of the repeal and, according to the indictment, MRCCM “provided no additional campaign contributions” to his campaign.
The Justice Department said that when an FBI agent asked Inman if he had communicated with MRCCM for the purpose of soliciting money in exchange for a favorable vote, Inman denied any solicitation.
The Washington Post reports that Inman is facing calls from his colleagues to resign and has been stripped of his committee assignments.
“I have never compromised the integrity of my vote on any issue,” Inman said in a statement to the Post. “I have always represented my constituency honestly and legally. I intend on vigorously defending myself against these charges and my reputation.”