Former Oklahoma governor testifies for prosecution at political bribery trial

Former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry vetoed a reform bill in 2010 after hearing rumors that a job was created for state senator.
by Nolan Clay Modified: October 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm •  Published: October 23, 2013

He said Leftwich later put her arm around him and said, “You need to be quiet, or you're going to get me in trouble.”

He said he did not know of any bribery scheme and said he never heard Terrill promise Leftwich a job. “If there had been any impropriety, I would have been the first to cry foul,” he told jurors.

He said he was dumbfounded when he first heard of the bribery allegations. “I couldn't believe it,” he said.

Christian told jurors he dropped out of the Senate race because he, too, was under investigation. He ran instead for his south Oklahoma City House seat and was re-elected.

He was not charged.

He admitted to jurors that he lied to Leftwich in March 2010 when she asked him whether he was going to run against her. He said she was crying when she confronted him at the Capitol after hearing about a poll of voters in her district.

“I said, ‘I don't know what you're talking about,'” he testified. “We were trying to run a stealth campaign.”

Terrill denies wrongdoing. His attorney said he will testify in his own defense that he never promised Leftwich a job.

At the time, Terrill was chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee that oversaw the medical examiner's office.

Other testimony

Two other legislators also testified Wednesday.

Rep. Marian Cooksey, R-Edmond, said she asked Terrill where the money was coming from for the new transition coordinator position.

“He said he had his own private slush fund,” she testified. “He just smiled.”

Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, testified about a conversation he had with Leftwich on April 19, 2010, the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. He recalled Leftwich saying she had been working at the medical examiner's office at the time of the attack.

Anderson testified she then said “she was working on a deal with my leadership to go back there but could not talk about it.”

He said it would be very unusual for Republican legislative leaders to work with a Democratic senator. “I think she was offered an opportunity she couldn't resist,” he said.

Anderson called Terrill a bully. He told jurors Terrill once “asked if I wanted to fight him in the rotunda of the Capitol.” The two did not end up fighting.

Terrill, 44, of Moore, is charged with a felony — offering a bribe to a candidate to withdraw. The trial is expected to go into next week.

Leftwich, 62, of Oklahoma City, also is charged with a felony — soliciting and/or accepting the bribe to withdraw. Her jury trial is set to begin Dec. 9.

If convicted, each faces up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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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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