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Former city-county councilor sentenced to 40 months

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U.S. Senior Judge Larry McKinney on Thursday sentenced former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Lincoln Plowman to 40 months in federal prison for attempted extortion and bribery.

A jury found Plowman guilty in September of using his official position to collect $6,000 in exchange for his help in getting zoning approval for a proposed strip club.

Plowman, also a former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department major, faced up to 30 years in prison and $500,000 in fines resulting from both convictions, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana had recommended a 6 ½ year prison sentence.

But after the court received several letters from friends and family asking for leniency – probation rather than a lengthy prison term – the federal judge imposed a 3.3 year prison sentence in a bench ruling. McKinney also ordered that Plowman serve two years of supervised release following his incarceration. McKinney imposed no fines because of the financial condition of Plowman's family. The convicted official will begin his sentence after Jan.1 at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute.

A grand jury indicted Plowman in September 2010. From August to December of 2009, the indictment said, Plowman solicited an undercover FBI agent to pay him $5,000 in cash and make a $1,000 campaign contribution in exchange for help with strip club zoning. Evidence at trial showed Plowman had previously accepted bribes from an existing strip club that was part of a national chain, in exchange for votes to influence legislation to ban smoking at Indianapolis clubs.

Though prosecutors had asked for a longer sentence, U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said he was satisfied with the judge’s decision.

“(The) sentencing serves as a warning throughout Indianapolis and across Indiana that our public offices are not for sale,” Hogsett said. “Although this tragedy saddens us all, it would be an even greater tragedy if such violations of the public trust went undiscovered and unpunished.”
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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