State panel OKs Inman recall petition, while Republican plans return to Legislature

Rep. Larry Inman's office, May 15, 2019 | Nick Manes

A petition drive to recall indicted state Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) can commence, the Board of State Canvassers unanimously ruled on Thursday. 

Larry Inman

Inman’s attorney, Chris Cooke, however, says they may still seek to appeal the board’s ruling, which would have to occur within 10 days. Inman, who faces federal charges that he tried to sell his vote on a union wage issue last year, plans to return to work when House sessions commence in September after summer recess, Cooke said in a call Thursday with the Advance

The recall petition, initiated by Inman constituents in the Traverse City area, will have 60 days to gather more than 12,000 signatures, something the organizers reportedly say should make for little challenge.  

Cooke said he and his client — who is currently receiving treatment for opioid addiction — have a list of questions regarding the recall effort. 

Among Cooke’s stated concerns are that the petition effort could hamper Inman’s ability to get an impartial jury trial if the petition document is circulated and that the language includes accusations from the federal indictment that are “not true,” Cooke said. 

Inman constituents push for recall


“There’s some big constitutional issues, but we’re just working through that right now to see what we want to do,” Cooke said. 

Inman has, so far, resisted calls for his resignation, including from several state House Republicans. He previously told the Advance that the text messages included in the indictment alleging he sought campaign contributions for himself and 12 other unnamed lawmakers had been “misinterpreted.” 

Inman plans return to work next week, ignoring calls for resignation

The embattled state representative has missed every House session since the indictment was handed down on May 15. Votes on the state House budget proposal and car insurance reform are among those he missed. 

However, Cooke said that will end soon. 

“He’ll be out of treatment by the time the House resumes session and he plans on attending. He’s able to perform his job,” Cooke said. “He’s taken steps to correct these issues. He plans on fulfilling his duties and responsibilities as long as he’s allowed to by the House and by the constituents and by the federal courts. He’s got a lot of battles to fight right now.”

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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