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Jury selected in political corruption trial of former Oklahoma Senate leader

Former Oklahoma Senate leader Mike Morgan's trial begins Tuesday. Jury of 11 women and one man is set to hear opening statements.
BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com Published: February 14, 2012
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More than three dozen current and former elected officials are among the potential witnesses in the political corruption trial for former Senate leader Mike Morgan.

A jury of 11 women and one man was selected Monday to hear testimony in the bribery trial in Oklahoma City federal court. The jurors include a nurse, public school employees and the former mayor of a small city.

U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron told jurors the trial could last two to four weeks or longer. The jury will hear opening statements Tuesday morning.

A key prosecution witness is Dave Herbert, a former state senator from Midwest City, who is now a lobbyist.

Listed as potential defense witnesses are former Gov. Brad Henry, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, Secretary of State Glenn Coffee and more than 30 other former and current legislators.

The judge read off the witness names during jury selection Monday.

Morgan was once one of the state's most powerful legislators. He is accused of taking more than $400,000 in bribes from three companies in exchange for influence at the state Capitol that included killing unfavorable bills and supporting helpful bills. Prosecutors allege the bribes were disguised as checks for monthly retainer fees.

Defense attorney David Ogle said Morgan was paid for his work as a lawyer. The defense attorney stressed to jurors Monday that Oklahoma law allows legislators to have other jobs.

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