Prosecutors say Inman's alleged bribery attempt is not free speech

Sep 16, 2019

State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) has returned to the Michigan House of Representatives while his case is pending.
Credit Rick Pluta

Prosecutors say State Rep. Larry Inman’s (R-Williamsburg) alleged bribery attempt is not protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Inman's legal team claims that campaign contributions are protected under the First Amendment, after the Citizens United decision in the U.S. Supreme Court from 2010.

In a brief filed Friday, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney's office said when  Inman tried to sell his vote for cash, that was a quid-pro-quo and broke federal law.

"The law remains clear: Donors may not legally buy official acts of public officials. And public officials cannot attempt to sell their official acts," the brief reads.

Federal Judge Robert Jonker is expected to make a decision on the charges in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Inman has returned to work at the Michigan House of Representatives.