House leaders release resolution urging Inman resignation

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

Top leaders in the Michigan House of Representatives have taken their calls to a new level for the resignation of embattled state Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg).

State House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and House Minority Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) have co-sponsored House Resolution 115 urging Inman’s resignation.

House Speaker Lee Chatfield and House Minority Leader Christine Greig at the Mackinac Policy Conference, May 30, 2019 | Andrew Roth

Inman was charged in a federal indictment last month alleging attempted bribery, extortion and lying to federal law enforcement officials and last week plead “not guilty” to the charges in a federal court room in Grand Rapids.

The indictment quotes text messages Inman allegedly sent to unnamed union officials urging them to give himself and other lawmakers more money in campaign contributions in exchange for voting against prevailing wage repeal. Inman wound up voting with most of his GOP caucus to ax that law which mandated union-level wages on certain publicly funded construction projects.

Inman was absent from session on Tuesday. He has not attended session since the indictment came down on May 15.

Chatfield and other elected officials have called for the Grand Traverse County lawmaker to step down since May 15, something Inman has resisted as he maintains his innocence.

Michigan House speaker wants Inman to resign over federal bribery charges

The resolution stands as the most formal step taken, so far, to get Inman to resign.

The resolution cites the alleged text messages — as well as statements that Inman made to the media the day after the indictment — as drawing “ridicule and disgrace to the state of Michigan and the Michigan House of Representatives, shaking the public trust and confidence in this legislative body, staining the honor, dignity, and integrity of the House, and distracting from the serious policy issues and debates before this body.”

Cindy Gamrat (left) and Todd Courser (right)

Chatfield, a fellow Northern Michigan lawmaker, has so far stopped short of saying he’d take up expulsion efforts if Inman continues to resist calls for resignation.

The language of the resolution, however, notes that if Inman continues to resist, “the House of Representatives reserves the right to take further disciplinary action,” and cites the section of Michigan’s Constitution dealing with expulsion.

The last time that the House held expulsion hearings was in 2015. Then-Reps. Todd Courser (R-Lapeer) and Cindy Gamrat (R-Plainwell) were accused of abusing their offices in the course of what became a very public affair. Eventually, Courser resigned and Gamrat was expelled.

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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