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Former officer’s convictions of bribery, attempted extortion affirmed

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The sentence of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department major and city-county counselor convicted last year for attempted extortion and bribery for his role in trying to get zoning approval for a proposed strip club has been upheld by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Lincoln Plowman claimed that he should have been allowed to argue entrapment to the jury, which the District Court precluded.

While on the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council in 2009, Plowman was chairman of the committee that oversees zoning in the county and city. During this time, the FBI set up a sting operation based on Plowman’s reputation for his “questionable use of the power and influence he had acquired,” according to the 7th Circuit opinion. The FBI undercover officer posed as strip club owner who wanted to open a club in Indianapolis. During their meetings, Plowman told the undercover officer that for “a couple bucks” he knew how to “push” the strip club through the board of zoning appeals. He sought $5,000 in cash and a contribution to his campaign.

The two met over the course of several months, and when the FBI entered the room during one of their meetings, the agents didn’t arrest him. He retired from the police force in March 2010. In September 2010, a federal grand jury indicted him with federal funds bribery and attempted extortion under color of official right. The government sought to preclude Plowman from presenting an entrapment defense. Judge Larry McKinney refused to issue an entrapment instruction to the jury as Plowman wanted, and he granted the government’s motion in limine. Plowman was convicted in September 2011.

The transcripts of Plowman’s conversations with the undercover FBI agent “overwhelmingly show that Plowman was not entrapped into accepting the bribe,” Judge Daniel Manion wrote.

The 7th Circuit held that McKinney correctly concluded that there was insufficient evidence that the government induced Plowman to accept the bribe, and at no time did the undercover agent mislead Plowman into thinking that Plowman was performing a legal business service.

“The FBI conducted a standard sting operation that did not induce Plowman to accept a bribe. To argue entrapment to a jury, Plowman needed to provide sufficient evidence of both inducement and a lack of predisposition, but he failed to establish the first element,” Manion wrote in United States of America v. Lincoln Plowman,
11-3781.

 

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  • ESP
    How do these judges know all these things when everyone knows that they only know what they were told. So now it appears COA judges are making decisions based on hearsay!

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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