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Inman recall effort gets extra day to resubmit signatures

Max Johnston
Interlochen Public Radio

The group behind the recall effort to remove Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) from office got some breathing room Tuesday.

The Michigan Court of Appeals found that they have until Wednesday afternoon to resubmit signatures on their petition against the Traverse City lawmaker.

The State Bureau of Elections had previously dismissed more than 1,700 of the 13,000 signatures the group submitted for various reasons, apparently including concerns over typos and legibility. Since then the group has been resubmitting signatures for approval.

The court found that the previous debate about typos in the petition language changed the timeframe for the legal challenges and gave the group an extra day to resubmit signatures.

Michael Naughton, an attorney representing the recall effort, says they’re confident the recall will continue.

"We’re not going to wait until the last minute, we’ve already submitted over the amount that would be required to have the recall petition… moving forward," Naughton said.

In December Inman was found not guilty of lying to the F.B.I. while a jury couldn’t reach a verdict on two other corruption charges.

Inman’s attorney Chris Cooke says the petition should have never been approved, saying his client was — and is — innocent of the charges against him.

"It’s just amazing to me how you can just extend statutory deadlines on the request of a representative party who should be well aware of the rules," Cooke said.

If the signatures and petition are approved, the Secretary of State will formally announce a Recall Primary and Election to take place later this year.

Max came to IPR in 2017 as an environmental intern. In 2018, he returned to the station as a reporter and quickly took on leadership roles as Interim News Director and eventually Assignment Editor. Before joining IPR, Max worked as a news director and reporter at Michigan State University's student radio station WDBM. In 2018, he reported on a Title IX dispute with MSU in his story "Prompt, Thorough and Impartial." His work has also been heard on Michigan Radio, WDBM and WKAR in East Lansing and NPR.