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Federal prosecutors calling Oklahoma lobbyist's actions bribery in Mike Morgan case

Lobbyist Barry K. Moore has been accused of bribery but he has not been charged. Moore represented a number of rural telephone companies.
by Nolan Clay Published: November 12, 2012
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Longtime lobbyist Barry K. Moore told the FBI he hired a state senator for legal services but federal prosecutors now are alleging the monthly payments actually were bribes.

Moore, 51, of Edmond, has not been charged.

The allegations about him, though, have surfaced in the federal case against former state Senate leader Mike Morgan.

Morgan, a Stillwater attorney, is set to be sentenced in January in Oklahoma City federal court. A jury convicted Morgan in March of accepting $12,000 in bribes from an Edmond company that operated assisted-living centers.

Prosecutors now are asking U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron to consider other payments to Morgan as bribes when she decides his sentence.

“The people of Oklahoma need to be able to trust that their legislators are motivated by the public interest, rather than by bribes disguised as legal fees,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo to the judge Nov. 2. “Mr. Morgan had at least five corrupt bribery schemes operating at once.”

Prosecutors specifically want the judge to consider the $33,500 the lobbyist's company, The BKM Group, paid Morgan. Prosecutors gave the judge 36 pages of Morgan's bills to The BKM Group.

“In reality, The BKM Group was paying Mr. Morgan for his legislative influence,” prosecutors wrote.

Moore, a lobbyist for a number of rural telephone companies, declined to comment. He also is chairman of the Edmond Planning Commission.

His attorney, Joe White, confirmed Moore still claims the payments were for legal services. White declined further comment.

Maintains innocence

Morgan, a Democrat, maintains that he is innocent. He testified at trial that he never sold his Senate seat.

His new attorney, Jack Fisher, said prosecutors only presented one side in their memo. “The court is going to decide whether there was corruption involved or not,” Fisher said.

Morgan was Senate president pro tem in 2005 and 2006. He was Senate co-president pro tem in 2007 and 2008. He left the Legislature at the end of 2008 because of term limits.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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