Bribery Probe
7:40 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Trial Continues For Ex-Oklahoma Legislator

Former State Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

The trial of a former Oklahoma legislator accused of offering a bribe to a Senate colleague in exchange for her not seeking re-election is scheduled to resume Wednesday.

Several notable Oklahoma politicians are expected to testify in the trial of Moore Republican Randy Terrill, including former Gov. Brad Henry.

During opening statements yesterday, Assistant District Attorney Jimmy Harmon told jurors the 44-year-old Terrill was motivated mostly by political power.

The Oklahoman reports former State Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard testified yesterday that Terrill pressured ME Chief Administrative Officer Tom Jordan during a closed-door meeting to hire then-State Sen. Debbe Leftwich to a new state job that would be included in a bill reforming the agency.

“He got up and shut the door and said, ‘Now, this is dead man's talk,'” she testified. She explained that she took that to mean to keep the conversation confidential.

She said Terrill came up with Leftwich's salary for the position — a transition coordinator — by asking her and Jordan how much they made. Ballard made $70,000 a year at the time and Jordan made $90,000 a year.

“And he said, ‘Well, she'll be making somewhere in between,'” she testified.

After the meeting, she and Jordan agreed Terrill's plan “didn't pass the smell test,” she said.

But, she added, “We felt like we didn't have a choice.”

If convicted, Terrill and Leftwich both face up to two years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

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