Family and friends of a former Indianapolis police officer and City-County Council member convicted of bribery and attempted extortion are rallying to try to keep him out of prison . . .
Last week, Plowman's attorney filed with the court 57 letters from Plowman's family, friends and colleagues, including State Rep. Mike Speedy, R-Indianapolis, and Republican City-County Councilwoman Susie Day. Many of those letters ask Judge Larry McKinney to consider punishment other than prison . . .
In their letters, Plowman's supporters paint him as a man who was always dedicated to his job and helping others. They said he recently lost his job at a Greenwood factory because of his felony convictions and now finds odd jobs, such as pulling weeds, to help pay the bills. They urged the judge to keep him out of prison so he can support his wife and two young sons.
Day, the City-County Council member, wrote that Plowman's tape-recorded conversations with the FBI depicted a side of Plowman she didn't know. She said she knew him as a tireless servant to his community. She shared stories of Plowman traveling south in 2005 to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.
"He had a sense of civic duty second to none," she wrote.
Speedy wrote that Plowman has suffered enough and doesn't need to be in prison to see the error in his ways.
"He will never hold elected office again," Speedy wrote. "He is financially devastated. . . . I hope and pray that you will see that he and his family have paid a big price for his poor choices already."Speedy and Day should be holding their heads in shame for arguing that Plowman should receive no prison time. Apparently the voters of her district knew what they were doing when they bounced Day from her council seat earlier this month if she thinks Plowman has "a sense of civic duty second to none." Plowman used both his position as a police officer and as a city councilor to line his own pockets while consorting with the sleaziest people in the community that operate strip clubs. Civic duty had nothing to do with figuring out how to use the public positions with which he had been entrusted to "get his take" as he described it.
He added that the conviction alone has sent a strong message to local politicians.
Speedy's suggestion that Plowman's conviction has "sent a strong message to politicians" is laughable. They're getting rich at taxpayers' expense at a record pace. The worst offenders have not been brought to justice. I'm talking about the ones making millions of dollars from Indianapolis' pay-to-play activities that would make a Chicago pol blush. Speedy should be thankful Judge McKinney saved him from himself by refusing to allow him to testify at Plowman's trial. Yes, Speedy actually wanted to testify at his trial in an effort to convince jurors what they heard Plowman saying he was trying to do in recorded conversations with an undercover FBI agent was no different than what city councilors do all the time to help out their constituents with zoning issues.
Unless Plowman is required to serve a healthy sentence for his crime, it will send a message to the politicians that crime pays, which it does for most of them since so many of them do it in Indianapolis with profitable results. Six years is the minimum time Plowman should serve. Plowman should consider himself lucky. The feds could have brought numerous other charges against him that they chose to ignore that would have proven that his nefarious activities didn't start and stop with the conversations he had with the undercover FBI agent posing as a strip club owner. Speedy and Day exercised very poor judgment in making public their belief that Plowman should receive no prison time for his crimes. I'm frankly shocked and disappointed by both of their actions, particularly Speedy's. He should no better.