A federal judge is letting the charges against indicted state Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) head to a jury trial.
In an order handed down late Tuesday by Robert Jonker, chief U.S District judge for the Western District of Michigan, declined to dismiss any of the three charges against Inman. The charges, extortion, bribery and lying to a federal official, are tied to allegations that the Traverse City-area lawmaker tried to sell his vote on a union wage issue last year.
Experts who track campaign finance issues generally agree that the case appears to meet the standard definition for corruption.
Jonker believes a jury will best determine that question and he will set a date for jury selection at a later time.
“After review, however, the Court is satisfied those concerns are best addressed through a careful crafting of jury instructions, rather than dismissal of the indictment,” Jonker wrote.
In a television interview on Wednesday, Inman said he’s hopeful that the jury trial will show his long-professed innocence.
“You always hope for the best and you tell your honest story and hopefully the jury of my peers will make a determination once they have all the facts,” Inman said. “I’m looking forward to really proceeding with the trial, getting this over and proceeding with my life.”
Inman was indicted on the charges in May and has resisted calls for his resignation. He’s now facing a recall effort in his district.