Steve Marino, so nice of you to join us.
State Representative Steve Marino made himself “unavailable” for the Larry Inman trial. Inman was accused of trying to sell his vote on the prevailing wage law. It’s unclear whether the state tried to serve Marino with a subpoena or if they just informally asked him to appear. In any event, Marino didn’t testify, even though what he had to say was central to the case. The Macomb Daily reported that Marino dodged a subpoena and refused to voluntarily schedule an interview. Marino brags about office hours on his website.
But now Marino is talking, and prosecutors say that it’s critical to their case, now that the judge is about to decide whether prosecutors can retry Inman. They say that Marino’s recounting of events differs from what Inman testified about the matter.
Inman testified that Marino and Inman talked about strategy for making sure “no” voters got checks from the carpenters lobby. Inman also said that Marino told him to justify his “yes” vote as a way to allow another lawmaker to vote “no” in order to make his constituents happy.
Marino says bull, none of that happened.
But why did Marino make himself unavailable before trial? Why wasn’t he the one scheduling meetings with the FBI to arrive at the truth, being a lawmaker and all? Did he voluntarily make himself available now, or did the authorities finally track him down during his “office hours.”
Judge Robert Jonker is acting like a loyal George W. Bush appointee, and loudly vocalizing his questions about the prosecution retrying Republican Inman. Jonker’s comments are not limited to questions about double jeopardy, but instead, he’s commenting on the substantive evidence itself, and saying that lawmakers know and expect that dollars flow from donors based on how they vote.
With a judge publicly weighing in on the evidence (when he shouldn’t be), the government is left with an uphill battle to convict Inman. But tax dollars and energy is well spent in trying. Even judge Jonker doesn’t seem to disagree that it happened, he just wonders if it ought to be illegal. If Jonker throws the case out, there are rounds of appeals available to the prosecution.