Legal Issues and Local Government and Federal Government and City-County Council and Criminal Charges and Government & Economic Development and Government and Law

Video shows former councilor taking money from FBI agent

September 8, 2011
Prosecutors showed video in court of a former Indianapolis City-County Council member taking what they say was a $5,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent seeking help opening a strip club in the city.

The video was among the evidence presented Wednesday during the trial of Lincoln Plowman on federal charges of bribery and attempted extortion. Plowman was the council's Republican majority leader in 2009 when authorities say he asked for cash to help review potential sites and zoning issues.

According to WXIN-TV 59, the video shows Plowman and the undercover agent drinking and chatting at the Conrad Indianapolis hotel in December 2009.

The agent, posing as the strip club owner, tells Plowman he needs him behind the scenes, “making it happen for me.”

Plowman gives advice to the agent about dealing with zoning issues and asks for $5,000 in cash and a campaign contribution. The video shows him taking the money and confirming the amount. He was arrested a short time later.

As IBJ reported Tuesday, defense attorney James Voyles is arguing that Plowman had a legitimate side business as a consultant to local strip clubs.

Plowman faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of attempted extortion and 10 years and a $250,000 fine if convicted of bribery.
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