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Former City-County Councilor Plowman found guilty

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Former City County Councilor Lincoln Plowman, found guilty Thursday afternoon of federal bribery and attempted extortion charges, will await sentencing on home detention.

Federal prosecutors asked Judge Larry McKinney to incarcerate Plowman until sentencing, citing his affinity for visiting Costa Rica and his police experience that could aid him in forging identification documents.

But Plowman told the judge that he had met all his probation requirements as he pleaded for mercy.

“I have nothing to hide,” he told the judge. “I don’t have a passport. I’m not a spy. I can’t produce my own documents.”

Plowman also said that he and his wife have 17-month-old and 10-year-old sons at home. He also told the judge that he is working as a punch-press operator at a Greenwood medical company.

The judge did not set a sentencing date, but ordered home detention. Plowman faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the attempted extortion conviction and 10 years and a $250,000 fine for the bribery conviction.

The jury deliberated for about two hours before finding Plowman guilty. After the conviction, U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett said the conviction should send a message to every public official in Indiana.

“Public office in Indiana is not for sale,” he said. “No man or woman is above the law.

Plowman mugPlowman

"Mr. Plowman made a choice,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Vaughn told the jurors in his closing arguments Thursday morning. “Rather than looking out for the interests of his citizens, he decided to look out for his own interests.”

Plowman, also a former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department major, was accused of using his official position to collect $6,000 for helping to grease the wheels for a new strip club.

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 Plowman’s help with strip club zoning.

Defense attorney James Voyles argued in court that Plowman had a legitimate side business as a consultant to local strip clubs and even insisted to the undercover agent that the $5,000 be reported on a 1099 tax form.

“What I would ask you to do,” Voyles implored the jury in closing arguments, “is to give him back his pride, give him back his name. So that man Lincoln Plowman can face his friends, face his neighbors.”

Plowman, a Republican who was elected to the council in 2003, was a member of the council’s Metropolitan Development Committee, which recommends appointments to the Board of Zoning Appeals. That board reviews petitions for zoning law variances.

In his closing remarks, Vaughn said, "This is not somebody paying the babysitter. This is $5,000 in cash for a zoning variance.”

FBI agents closed in on Plowman on Dec. 22, 2009, during a meeting with the undercover informant at the downtown Conrad hotel. At that meeting, they notified him of the sting.

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  • Happy
    I am so happy that Lincoln Plowman is going to prison. He co-roooks Mr. Speedy and Ms. Day need to join him there.
  • time for a chang in indy
    this is just the tip of the icegerg. check out the leadership ballard on down and therew law firms---parking garage in broad ripple----parking meter sell out thats killing business----cale 52---water company --gas company on and on and on and on. maybe could do a better job. lets hope
  • police retirement
    Now that Lincoln Plowman is a convicted felon will he continue to receive his police retirement pension ???.
  • The Real Issue
    The real issue here is not political corruption or partisan politics, it is strip clubs. Bottom line - Indianapolis needs more adult men's clubs.
  • Shame on him.
    It is a slap in the face to all serve proudly in law enforcement to protect and serve.
  • Good grief
    maybe being a greedy republican just above the legal radar should be illegal. It only shows that the GOP is all about Me and to hell with everyone else. Actually, does a strip club align with the GOP family values and their self-proclaimed hold on morality, values, religion? But be assured that the operative word is make more things legal, deregulate, stop the oversight, and then it is Society Beware - new GOP version of capiet emptor
  • Not surprising, sadly
    Between things like this and David Bisard, the drunk cop who hit the group of motorcyclists (killed Eric Wells, maimed 2 more) and still hasn't lost his job, why is anyone surprised when people think cops are corrupt? We KNOW they are, and these are just the things that come to light.
  • coverage
    I am a little surprised by the verdict. Advanceindiana.com (Blog) had gold-star coverage of the trial and testimony. Nothing jumped out to me as illegal. Lots jumped out to me as sleazy; but thats not criminal otherwise all politicians would be locked up. thanks! Joe
  • Good riddance
    I hope he gets at least a decade in the general population.
  • Justice Served
    Wish this would happen to more greedy guilty people more often

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