Former Michigan Rep. Larry Inman Acquitted of Attempted Extortion and Bribery Charges: A Five-Year Legal Battle Ends in Favor of Inman

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Former Michigan Representative Larry Inman has been acquitted by a jury on charges of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe. The verdict was reached five years after federal prosecutors initially accused him of attempting to sell his vote to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law in 2019. Inman, a Republican from the Traverse City area, was originally charged with soliciting a bribe, attempted extortion, and lying to federal investigators. Prosecutors alleged that Inman sought campaign donations from unions in return for voting against the measure to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law in 2018.

This recent acquittal comes after a second federal trial. The first trial resulted in Inman being found not guilty of lying to investigators but a hung jury on the other two charges. The second trial began earlier this week in front of U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker in Grand Rapids. Inman, 69, took the stand in his own defense, as he did in the first trial.

James Fisher, one of Inman’s defense attorneys, expressed Inman’s relief at having this “very long struggle” behind him. Fisher also mentioned that it would be challenging for Inman to return to politics after enduring this process. Inman, who served in the House from 2015 to 2020, faced up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of the most severe charge.

While Inman may be exonerated, the prevailing wage law that he was accused of opposing has been reinstated. Legislative Democrats, who took control of both the House and Senate, passed a repeal after Republicans initially repealed the law in 2018. The law will go back into effect in February.

Inman’s attorney believes it is unlikely that he will run for office in Michigan again. In a statement, U.S. Attorney Mark Totten expressed his commitment to fighting public corruption and safeguarding trust in democracy, despite disagreeing with the jury’s verdict.

Larry Inman’s acquittal on charges of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe has put an end to a five-year legal battle. The former Michigan Representative was found not guilty after being accused of offering his vote in exchange for campaign donations. While Inman may be relieved, the prevailing wage law that he allegedly opposed has been reinstated. It remains to be seen whether Inman will return to politics or if the jury’s decision will have any impact on his future endeavors.