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Inman returns to House following federal indictments

State Rep. Larry Inman talking to reporters
Rick Pluta
Michigan Radio

State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) returned Tuesday to the state Capitol in Lansing. This is the first time he’s attended a House session since his colleagues adopted a formal request for his resignation as he faces federal bribery and extortion charges. It’s alleged he tried to trade votes for campaign donations.

But Inman says he's been absent while seeking treatment for opioid addiction.

Inman says his fellow lawmakers should display compassion for someone who has struggled with addiction to painkillers that began after a series of surgeries. He also says the House should let the legal process play out before making decisions about whether he should keep his job.

“In my mind I did nothing wrong,” he said. “And what we need to do is to go through the legal process to make that final determination.”

Inman deflected questions on whether the addiction affected his judgment or played a role in a text message back-and-forth where he pressed a union lobbyist for campaign money to help Republicans who faced a difficult vote.

A resolution adopted by the entire House asks Inman to resign. The state House Republican majority has also voted him out of its private caucuses, and taken away his office and staff. But Inman says he still considers himself a Republican.

“I was elected Republican, uh, from the citizens of Grand Traverse County and I’m here to fulfill my obligation,” he said. 

Inman says he hopes to talk at some point with House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering). A spokesman for the Republican leader says Chatfield continues to believe Inman should step down.

“It’s the right thing to do for the people he represents, the people of the state of Michigan, and the House of Representatives as a whole,” said House GOP spokesman Gideon D’Assandro.

The House has not taken the further step of expulsion proceedings, but that has not been ruled out.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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