Former Oklahoma Senate leader Mike Morgan was under FBI investigation for years, prosecutor says

Former Oklahoma Senate leader Mike Morgan was under FBI investigation for years before his indictment Wednesday in a public corruption case, U.S. Attorney Sandy Coats said Thursday.
BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com Published: April 1, 2011

The grand jury alleges Morgan was illegally paid more than $400,000 by three companies for favorable treatment in the Legislature and with state officials. The grand jury said the payments were disguised.

Morgan's attorney, David Ogle, said the FBI inquiry has lasted at least four years. He said FBI agents searched Morgan's Stillwater law office in November 2009.

Ogle said, “The government takes the position that he didn't do any legal work. It's just not true. It's wrong. … There was significant litigation that he assisted in, and significant documents reviewed and opinions given.”

Federal prosecutors agreed in 2009 not to charge one company owner, Sam Crosby, for paying Morgan $12,000, Crosby's attorney said. “I thought it was important to get that agreement to protect him,” the attorney, John W. Coyle said.

Crosby owned a company that operated assisted-living centers. Grand jurors alleged Morgan told the owner that if the company wanted his help in dealing with the state Health Department, “it would have to hire him as a lawyer and pay him a retainer of $1,000 per month.” Morgan later authored a bill that addressed many of the company's concerns, the grand jury said.