GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal jury in western Michigan on Tuesday cleared a Republican state lawmaker of lying to federal authorities but was hung on two other charges against him.
Jurors found Rep. Larry Inman not guilty of lying to the FBI but could not reach a verdict on charges of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe, The Detroit News reported. The decisions came after 11 hours of deliberations that began Monday in Grand Rapids.
Inman, from Williamsburg in the Traverse City area, was accused of urging union officials in 2018 to round up $30,000 in campaign contributions per legislator to protect a law that set higher wages on state-financed construction projects.
It wasn't immediately clear if prosecutors would seek a new trial against Inman.
Colleagues in the Michigan Legislature asked earlier this year that he resign. Inman said he had no plans to step down.
He represents the 104th District in Grand Traverse County in northern Michigan.
Inman was indicted in May by a federal grand jury. The indictment revealed text messages sent last year by Inman to two people affiliated with the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, a group that had supported him. He urged them to round up campaign contributions from other unions to win the votes of legislators who were under pressure from Republican leaders to repeal a law that guaranteed higher wages for workers on state-financed construction projects.
Inman has said he has done "nothing wrong" and that lawmakers should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
An effort to recall Inman crashed last month after election officials said a word was missing on the petition. The recall petition was missing the word “right” in describing one of the charges against him. The petition language must match the previously approved reasons for a recall.
Nearly 14,000 signatures from voters in his district were submitted, more than enough to force a recall election.