Handwritten notes assert Oklahoma lobbyist was behind a plan to bribe former Sen. Mike Morgan

Former Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan is accused of taking more than $400,000 in bribes from three companies in exchange for his influence at the Capitol. On trial with him are longtime lobbyist Andrew Skeith and prominent attorney Martin Stringer.
BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com Published: February 17, 2012

The company ended up paying more than $141,000 to Morgan over the next three years. “It was to watch our back,” one owner, Edith Denton, testified.

Morgan also is accused of taking $250,000 in bribes from a power plant company and $12,000 in bribes from an Edmond assisted-living business. Jurors are to hear testimony about those payments later. Morgan, who is an attorney, contends he was paid for legitimate legal services.

Morgan, 57, of Stillwater, Stringer, 71, of Oklahoma City, and Skeith, 53, of Edmond, were indicted in March. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Morgan, a Democrat, was Senate president pro tem or co-president pro tem from March 2005 until November 2008, according to the indictment.

Walker testified Thursday about his notes for almost three hours even though he said he could not recall his conversations with Skeith.

He specifically said he does not know if notes such as “Morgan — retainer” and “50K,” which is short for $50,000, came from what Skeith told him.

Walker told the jury he was not a part of any plan to bribe Morgan and wouldn't have participated in one. “I had no knowledge of any improper action,” Walker testified.

The judge excused the jury at 12:13 p.m. Thursday so one juror could deal with a problem. Testimony is set to resume at 9 a.m. Friday. The trial is expected to last two to three more weeks.

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