Political Corruption Investigation
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater's political corruption investigation focuses on whether Rep. Randy Terrill, Rep. Mike Christian, Sen. Debbe Leftwich and possibly other politicians conspired to create an $80,000-a-year job with the medical examiner's office for Leftwich so Christian could run for her Senate seat.

Political corruption investigation articles from NewsOK and The Oklahoman

  • State Rep. Randy Terrill calls bribery charge politically motivated

    BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com | Updated: Fri, Dec 24, 2010

    State Rep. Randy Terrill said in an e-mailed statement that he is innocent of charges of political corruption and that the prosecutor overseeing the case is trying to hurt his political career.

  • Proposal would remove Legislature's exemption from oversight laws

    BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com | Updated: Thu, Dec 23, 2010

    Lawmaker intends to file bill that would require legislators to comply with state's Open Records and Open Meeting acts. Proposal would remove Legislature's exemption from oversight laws.

  • Ex-senator paid legal bills with campaign funds

    BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com | Updated: Thu, Dec 23, 2010

    Debbe Leftwich, a former Oklahoma senator, had been using campaign funds to pay $40,000 worth of legal bills.

  • State representative, former senator charged with bribery after political corruption probe

    BY NOLAN CLAY AND MICHAEL MCNUTT | Updated: Wed, Dec 22, 2010

    Rep. Randy Terrill and former Sen. Debbe Leftwich have been charged with felony counts of bribery in an investigation into political corruption at the state Capitol.

  • Last days of legislative session chaotic, investigators told

    BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com | Updated: Wed, Dec 22, 2010

    During a political corruption investigation, investigators were told legislators wait for the last two weeks to put in special language because “nobody can read the hundreds of bills they are voting on.”

  • State Rep. Randy Terrill, former state Sen. Debbe Leftwich charged with bribery

    By NOLAN CLAY, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Dec 22, 2010

    Prosecutors today charged state Rep. Randy Terrill and former state Sen. Debbe Leftwich with bribery.Terrill, R-Moore, is accused of offering a bribe for withdrawal of candidacy. Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, is accused of soliciting and/or accepting a bribe from another for withdrawal of...

  • Oklahoma Rep. Randy Terrill calls corruption investigation 'preposterous'

    BY MICHAEL MCNUTT | Updated: Thu, Aug 12, 2010

    Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater's corruption investigation of Rep. Randy Terrill is called "preposterous" by lawmaker, who claims House should be responsible for inquiry.

  • Rep. Randy Terrill calls Oklahoma County DA's allegations ‘preposterous'

    By The Associated Press | Updated: Wed, Aug 11, 2010

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A state lawmaker at the center of an investigation into possible corruption at the state Capitol says the allegations are “preposterous.” State Rep. Randy Terrill told The Associated Press Wednesday he has not talked to Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater about his...

  • Investigated Oklahoma lawmakers propose House changes

    By The Associated Press | Updated: Wed, Aug 11, 2010

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Two state lawmakers at the center of an investigation into possible corruption at the state Capitol are proposing changes to the House legislative process. State Reps. Randy Terrill and Mike Christian sent an e-mail Wednesday detailing their 10-point “Member's Bill of Rights”...

  • Oklahoma grand jury won't meet next week after all

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Updated: Sat, Jul 17, 2010

    Oklahoma's multicounty grand jury could take up political corruption allegations in August.

  • Oklahoma Rep. Randy Terrill discussed taking drug fund money months ago, records show

    BY JOHN ESTUS | Updated: Fri, Jul 16, 2010

    Records show that Oklahoma Rep. Randy Terrill has long considered taking money out of a narcotics bureau fund for another agency. The fund has been labeled a "slush fund" by a prosecutor conducting a political corruption investigation targeting Terrill and other Oklahoma lawmakers.

  • Oklahoma state Rep. Randy Terrill got home loan during bankruptcy

    BY JOHN ESTUS and PAUL MONIES | Updated: Sat, Jun 19, 2010

    Embattled state Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, bought a new home last month, but his personal bankruptcy from 2005 remains unresolved.

  • Oklahoma County DA says legislators had 'slush fund'

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Updated: Sat, Jun 19, 2010

    David Prater says narcotics bureau funds were improperly used when given to other agencies by Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore. Terrill is being investigated with other legislators over an alleged plot to create a state job for an outgoing lawmaker.

  • Oklahoma Sen. Glenn Coffee supports new post at medical examiner's office

    BY JULIE BISBEE | Updated: Wed, Jun 16, 2010

    Coffee said he supports new position at medical examiner's office, unaware of any political schemes

  • Oklahoma Senate leader Glenn Coffee supports new medical examiner's post

    BY JULIE BISBEE | Updated: Tue, Jun 15, 2010

    Coffee said he supports new position at medical examiner's office, unaware of any political schemes.

  • Witness in political corruption probe implicates Rep. Randy Terrill

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Updated: Sun, Jun 13, 2010

    ©Copyright 2010, The Oklahoman A witness in a political corruption investigation recalls state Rep. Randy Terrill on May 17 pushed for Sen. Debbe Leftwich to be hired at the medical examiner's office and warned the discussion was "dead man's talk.” Terrill, R-Moore, also specified...

  • Witness in political corruption probe implicates Rep. Randy Terrill

    By Nolan Clay, nclay@opubco.com | Updated: Sat, Jun 12, 2010

    A witness in a political corruption investigation recalls state Rep. Randy Terrill on May 17 pushed for Sen. Debbe Leftwich to be hired at the medical examiner's office and warned the discussion was "dead man's talk." Terrill, R-Moore, also specified how much Leftwich would be paid in...

  • Henry acts on wire transfer fee bills

    BY MICHAEL MCNUTT | Updated: Fri, Jun 11, 2010

    Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry acts on wire transfer fee bills

  • Lawmakers plead ignorance on bill that sparked investigation

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Updated: Thu, Jun 10, 2010

    Ten Oklahoma legislators signed off on a substitute bill that would have created a new $80,000-a-year job within the state medical examiner's office, but so far none have acknowledged knowing who inserted the controversial provision.

  • Lawmakers targeted in corruption inquiry tried to open business together

    BY JOHN ESTUS and PAUL MONIES | Updated: Wed, Jun 9, 2010

    Reps. Randy Terrill and Mike Christian tried to opened a business together this year to run a gift shop in a hospital where Terrill's wife works. They are among the targets of a public corruption probe involving state lawmakers.

  • District attorney investigates Oklahoma legislators over possible corruption

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Updated: Tue, Jun 8, 2010

    Oklahoma County prosecutors have launched a political corruption investigation that includes Reps. Mike Christian and Randy Terrill, and Sen. Debbe Leftwich.

  • DA: Corruption probe of Oklahoma lawmakers could grow

    The Associated Press | Updated: Tue, Jun 8, 2010

    A corruption probe into whether a state senator agreed to not seek re-election in exchange for a newly created position at the state medical examiner's office could expand to include many others, a prosecutor said Monday. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater confirmed he has launched...

  • More messy news from medical examiner's office

    THE OKLAHOMAN EDITORIAL | Updated: Tue, Jun 8, 2010

    THE state medical examiner's office, arguably the most dysfunctional agency in Oklahoma state government, is in the news once again. And once again, it's messy. The agency that has seen a revolving door of chief medical examiners in recent years, sexual harassment allegations against a...

  • Oklahoma corruption investigation targets plans to move wire transfer fee money

    BY JOHN ESTUS and PAUL MONIES | Updated: Tue, Jun 8, 2010

    Rep. Randy Terrill, a target in a corruption probe, helped orchestrate plans to move wire transfer fee money to other public safety agencies, legislative records and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control e-mails show.

  • Alleged plot would have caused Oklahoma senator's pension to soar

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Updated: Tue, Jun 8, 2010

    State Sen. Debbe Leftwich's annual pension benefit would have nearly doubled if legislators had successfully carried out an alleged plot to get her an $80,000-a-year job in exchange for not seeking re-election.



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The Players

Rep. Mike Christian Rep. Mike Christian R - Oklahoma City Christian is alleged to have helped create a position at the medical examiner's office for Leftwich so he could run for her Senate seat.
Rep. Debby Leftwich Rep. Debbe Leftwich D - Oklahoma City Leftwich is alleged to have taken a deal to step down from her Senate seat in exchange for a high-paying, newly-created position in the medical examiner's office.
Rep. Randy Terrill Rep. Randy Terrill R - Moore Terrill helped write the bills that created and funded the new medical examiner's job alleged to have been promised to Leftwich.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater District Attorney David Prater Prater says he has strong evidence of political corruption involving Terrill, Christian, Leftwich and possibly others to present to the state's multicounty grand jury, which can issue indictments or recommend impeachment from office.

Lawmakers respond

Although 10 state lawmakers signed a conference committee report supporting adoption of a bill regarding the state medical examiner's office, The Oklahoman could find none who would acknowledge knowing the origin of a provision to create an $80,000- a-year transition coordinator position. A political corruption investigation is under way to determine if state Sen. Debbe Leftwich was promised that job in exchange for not running for re-election. Here is what some of the lawmakers on the conference committee had to say about the origin of the controversial language:
"At the time we got the conference committee report, the explanation given to me was that this is the ME bill, we're removing the ME's office from Oklahoma City to Edmond.... I don't know who or how or when that specific language about that transition coordinator was added.”

State Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman
"I wasn't involved in the drafting or authorship or any of that.... I read the conference committee report before I signed it, but that wasn't pointed out or described.”

State Sen. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond
"In this case, I guess I signed it and I probably signed it without reading it because usually you're at your desk voting on other bills when you're asked to sign it.”

State Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa
"I don't know who put the language in.... I had no problem with the transition coordinator to help them make the move. If that position was designed for a particular person, I had no knowledge of that. I will tell you that Sen. Leftwich would be a wonderful person for that position.”

State Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove
"I didn't know that there was a transition coordinator in there.... I read the thing and it didn't occur to me to think anything of it.”

State Rep. Lucky Lamons, D-Tulsa