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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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