Former leader of Oklahoma state Senate asks for probation for bribery conviction

Former state Senate leader Mike Morgan is seeking probation for his bribery conviction. His attorney filed letters Friday from more than 400 supporters including U.S. congressmen, university presidents, former Sooner coach Barry Switzer and former Cowboys coach Eddie Sutton.
by Nolan Clay Published: October 19, 2012
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The attorney disclosed Morgan suffers from “uncontrollable anxiety, depression and an extraordinary elevated blood pressure.”

Morgan, a Democrat, was accused in a federal indictment last year of taking more than $400,000 in bribes from three companies seeking to influence legislation.

Jurors on March 5 found Morgan guilty of accepting $12,000 in bribes from only one of the companies. That company, Silver Oak Senior Living, operated assisted-living centers and was based in Edmond.

A company owner, Sam Crosby, told jurors he met with Morgan at the Capitol in May 2006 and asked Morgan for help — possibly legislatively — to get health officials off his back. He testified Morgan said to him, “This is the way it works: You pay me a $1,000-a-month retainer.”

Morgan in 2007 was the author of assisted-living legislation that became law.

Morgan's defense attorney at trial claimed Crosby made up his testimony because he is awaiting sentencing for bank fraud and wanted to please prosecutors.

Jurors acquitted Morgan of fraud counts involving an energy company. They acquitted him of a conspiracy count involving a landfill company but deadlocked on other felony counts involving the landfill company.

Morgan was Senate president pro tem in 2005 and 2006.

He was Senate co-president pro tem in 2007 and 2008.

Morgan insisted the three companies paid him for legal services, not to influence legislation.

“I never sold my seat,” Morgan testified at the trial in Oklahoma City's federal courthouse.

Prosecutors will file their own sentencing memo in November. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled yet.

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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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