House GOP caucus chucks Inman

Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg), May 16, 2019 | Nick Manes

Embattled state Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) continues to face pressure from his own party to resign since being indicted last week for trying to sell his vote.

On Tuesday, the Michigan House Republican Caucus expelled Inman from its caucus, meaning he won’t be able to participate in closed-door meetings where policy decisions are typically made.

Eric Leutheuser

“The House Republican caucus today decided by a vote of its members to remove state Representative Larry Inman from the House Republican caucus, effective immediately,” said House Republican Caucus Chair Eric Leutheuser (R-Hillsdale).

Earlier in the day, state Rep. Shane Hernandez (R-Port Huron), who chairs the House Appropriations Committee — which Inman served upon prior to being stripped of his committee assignments last week — called on him to resign.

“Before his removal in the wake of federal bribery charges, I served with Rep. Larry Inman on the House Appropriations Committee,” Hernandez said in a statement.

“We are responsible for allocating approximately $60 billion in taxpayer funds. Someone who allegedly tried to sell their vote for a payoff simply cannot hold the trust of the people, which means they cannot do the job,” he continued. “Because of that, I believe Larry Inman needs to step down and resign his position as state representative.”

Inman was not at House session on Tuesday, according to reports, despite telling the Advance last week that he planned to return to work. In that interview, the lawmaker maintained his innocence.

Rep. Larry Inman (right) with Rep. Jon Hoadley (left) during Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget presentation in March 2019 | Casey Hull

Inman is accused of sending text messages to an unnamed union official ahead of a vote last year ahead of a vote on the repeal of prevailing wage. He told the Advance the texts were “misinterpreted.”

Text messages included in a federal indictment indicate that Inman was seeking $30,000 for himself and for 11 other unnamed lawmakers in exchange for voting to block the repeal of the law that mandated union-level wages for certain publicly-financed construction projects.

State House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) has also called on Inman to step down from his seat, but has not indicated whether he’ll pursue expulsion proceedings.

“I think it is in the best interest of this institution that he resign his position as a state representative,” Chatfield said last week. “And he will have a couple of days to make that decision, because I think he needs to reevaluate his position and where he is at.”

Nick Manes
Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.

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