Feds: Phone call recorded between indicted lawmaker, union

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
Rep. Larry Inman, R-Traverse City, discusses his recent indictment on bribery charges inside his Lansing office.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation plans to use information from a phone call between indicted Rep. Larry Inman and the union representative from whom he is alleged to have solicited political contributions in its case against the Traverse City Republican.

Investigators seized Inman’s cellular phone during a search of his residence Aug. 1, 2018, nearly two months after they recorded a phone call between Inman and the union representative on June 19, 2018, according to a Thursday court filing.

Inman was indicted last week on allegations that he attempted to sell his vote last year on a repeal of Michigan's prevailing wage law. 

Inman ended up voting to repeal the law, which had guaranteed union wages and benefits for workers on government-funded construction projects. The Republican-led House and Senate both approved the measure, and it became law. 

Prosecutors could use information from the phone call, text messages, bank records and statements to media in building their case against Inman. They also possess written records of interviews Inman gave to the FBI, Aug. 1, Oct. 16, Oct. 17 and Dec. 7.

Among the media interviews cited in the document were ones he gave Friday to The Detroit News, MLive, the Detroit Free Press and Michigan’s Big Show.

A federal grand jury indicted Inman on charges of bribery, extortion and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prosecutors allege Inman attempted to sell his vote to the Michigan Regional Carpenters and Millwrights union by pressuring the union to make political donations to himself and 11 other lawmakers ahead of the June 2018 vote.

House leaders have asked him to resign. They removed him from the GOP caucus and all committee assignments. Inman has denied the allegations and refused to resign.

He has not been to House session since the indictment was filed May 15, but is still able to take part in voting on legislation and continues to receive his $71,685 annual salary.  


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