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Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Former Indianapolis City-County Councilman Convicted for Soliciting a Bribe and Attempted Extortion

WASHINGTON – Former Indianapolis and Marion County, Ind., City-County Councilman Lincoln Plowman was convicted today by a federal jury of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer for the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett of the Southern District of Indiana.


“Former Councilman Plowman betrayed the public’s trust by attempting to use his public office for personal gain. He attempted to trade official actions for cash and campaign contributions, but he was caught,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer.  “Corruption at any level of government flies in the face of the ideals upon which our democracy is built.  We will simply not allow self-dealing by elected officials to go unpunished.”


Plowman, 48, was convicted by an Indianapolis jury of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe between Aug. 11, 2009, and Dec. 22, 2009, while serving as a member of the City-County Council.  According to evidence presented at trial, Plowman solicited an undercover FBI agent to pay $5,000 in cash and to make a $1,000 campaign contribution for Plowman’s benefit.   In exchange for the payments, Plowman offered official actions and influence to facilitate the opening of a strip club in Indianapolis.   At the time of the crimes, Plowman was a member of the Metropolitan Development Committee of the City-County Council.   He was also a major with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.


Plowman faces a maximum penalty on the extortion charge of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  He faces a maximum penalty on the bribery charge of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.   U.S. District Judge Larry J. McKinney ordered Plowman confined to his home pending sentencing. 


The case is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney Richard C. Pilger of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe H. Vaughn for the Southern District of Indiana.   The case was investigated by the FBI.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014