Traverse City-area lawmaker charged with seeking a bribe from union

State Rep. Larry Inman, a Republican from Traverse City
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) (5/15/2019) - A Michigan lawmaker has been charged with seeking a bribe from a labor union in exchange for a favorable vote on a wage issue.

A federal grand jury indicted state Rep. Larry Inman on charges of attempted extortion, soliciting a bribe and lying to the FBI. Inman is a Republican from the Traverse City area who is serving his third term in the House after decades as a local official in northern Michigan.

Inman is accused of pledging to vote against an effort to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law if he could get campaign contributions from a carpenters union. Prosecutors say the union didn't respond as requested, and Inman voted to repeal the law.

A message seeking comment was left for Inman on Wednesday. His website says his interests include looking for Amelia Earhart's plane.

Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield says he stripped Inman of his committee assignments and directed the House Business Office to take control of Inman's office to ensure consistent services are available for people living in the Traverse City-area district.

Chatfield said everyone in the House is "surprised and disappointed" by the news. He said there will be more to say "once we've been able to have a longer conversation" with Inman.

Inman released a statement Wednesday, saying he's innocent and he's "never compromised the integrity of my vote on any issue." Defense attorney Chris Cooke says "there was no intent to break the law."

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