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State Rep. Inman pleads not guilty to bribery, extortion charges

Larry Inman
Inman campaign

Representative Larry Inman (R-Traverse City) pleaded not guilty to multiple federal charges Tuesday. Inman appeared in court for the first time for charges of attempted extortion, soliciting a bribe, and lying to the FBI.

Inman was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month.

Prosecutors say he used his elected position to try to sell his vote on Michigan’s former prevailing wage law. That’s a law that the Legislature repealed in 2018 that required union level wages for public construction contracts. That charge alone carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Chris Cook, Inman's attorney, told the federal magistrate that his client is not guilty of the three crimes he’s charged with. 

Inman has since been removed from his party’s caucus in the House of Representatives, and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield has asked him to resign.

“We’re talking about that," says Cook, "There’s no plans to resign right now.”

Inman is out on a so-called unsecured bond. That means he did not have to give the court any money up front – but if he fails to appear in court, he’ll have to pay $25,000. Inman also cannot travel outside of the country, and needs permission to travel outside of the state.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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