House slows resignation push as Inman seeks addiction treatment

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

Leaders in Michigan’s House of Representatives are delaying a vote urging the immediate resignation of one of their own members amid news that he’s seeking addiction treatment.

An attorney for indicted state Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) announced Thursday that the northern Michigan lawmaker is undergoing treatment for long-term use of opioid painkillers due to multiple surgeries he’s undergone in recent years.

Michigan House | Susan J. Demas

Inman began treatment on June 1, according to his attorney, Chris Cooke.

Inman was indicted last month for attempted bribery and other federal charges related to seeking campaign contributions for himself and other unnamed lawmakers. Inman pleaded “not guilty” late last month and says his text messages were “misinterpreted.” He has resisted calls to step down, but has not attended session since charges were announced.

“Representative Inman and his physicians will continue to evaluate his ability to effectively serve his constituency as his treatment progresses,” Cooke wrote in a statement on Thursday.

That statement has state House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and House Minority Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) delaying any action on moving a resolution introduced on Tuesday that would urge Inman to resign immediately.

House leaders release resolution urging Inman resignation

“In light of the news that was made today in his statement that he is seeking medical treatment for opioid addiction, Minority Leader Greig and I believe it’s in the best interest not to move the resolution today,” Chatfield told reporters. “And we hope he receives the treatment that he needs.”

House Speaker Lee Chatfield and House Minority Leader Christine Greig  | Andrew Roth

Chatfield added that he believes the statement from Inman’s attorney serves as “an indication … that he is open to resigning in consultation with his physicians and I hope Larry does the right thing.”

Inman stands accused of sending text messages to labor union officials seeking bribes in exchange for his “no” vote on last summer’s successful GOP move to repeal prevailing wage, which mandated union-level wages for certain publicly-funded construction projects.

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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