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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. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

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