Witness says Terrill put state job into legislation in Oklahoma political bribery trial

Prosecutors will wrap up their case Friday at former state Rep. Randy Terrill's political bribery trial. Terrill will testify Monday.
by Nolan Clay Published: October 25, 2013
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A former state Senate bill writer on Thursday identified former state Rep. Randy Terrill as the legislator who had a new state job put into a 2010 reform bill.

“He gave me very specific information on what to add about this new job at the chief medical examiner's office,” Jennifer Lepard told jurors at Terrill's political bribery trial.

Terrill, a Republican, is accused of offering then-Sen. Debbe Leftwich an $80,000-a-year job at the medical examiner's office to not run for re-election in 2010. Leftwich is a Democrat. Terrill denies wrongdoing.

Lepard was the 12th prosecution witness to testify in the trial, which began Monday. Prosecutors plan to rest their case Friday.

Terrill is expected to testify Monday.

Prosecutors called Lepard in an attempt to establish that Terrill was behind the creation of the position of transition coordinator at the medical examiner's office.

In her testimony Thursday, Lepard described meeting with Terrill and state Sen. Anthony Sykes in Sykes' office. She said it was unusual for a House member to be in such a meeting over a Senate bill.

She said Terrill — reading from a list — instructed her on what to add to Senate Bill 738. She said Leftwich later came into the meeting and “we went over in general all the changes that were made.” She testified Leftwich's presence at the meeting also was unusual.

She recalled Thursday that the meeting was on May 19, 2010, just nine days from the end of the legislative session. Lepard said she drafted approximately 150 bills a year before leaving the Senate last November

Senate Bill 738 had been introduced in 2009 and was intended to put a number of reforms in place at the troubled medical examiner's office. Brad Henry, then governor, vetoed it on June 6, 2010, saying it was “fatally flawed” because of the provision creating the new job.

Sykes, R-Moore, told jurors Terrill was at the meeting about the reform bill because he was an emissary of the state House speaker. Sykes said Leftwich was at the meeting because she was known for her knowledge of the agency since she once had worked there.

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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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