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Prosecutors appeal former Oklahoma Senate leader Mike Morgan's sentence

Federal prosecutors appeal a judge's decision to give probation instead of a prison sentence to former Oklahoma Senate leader Mike Morgan.
by Nolan Clay Modified: March 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: March 4, 2013

She also spoke of how impressed she was that more 400 supporters of Morgan wrote her letters urging leniency. “You are well-loved in the community, in many communities,” she said.

Morgan is appealing his conviction.

“I am innocent of this crime, and I think someday, somehow, the truth will come out, and that will be proven,” Morgan said after his sentencing Jan. 8.

His attorney, Jack Fisher, said Monday, “It seems there is a fair chance the 10th Circuit will vacate Mr. Morgan's conviction based on insufficient evidence. If our appeal of the conviction fails, we are confident that — based on Judge Cauthron's excellent findings and conclusions — the sentence of probation will be upheld.”

The bribery conviction involved payments to Morgan of $1,000 a month for a year by an Edmond company that operated assisted-living centers.

Sam Crosby, the owner of the assisted-living company, was awaiting sentencing on a bank fraud case when he testified against Morgan.

Crosby told jurors he hired a lobbyist, 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.”

Crosby testified, “It didn't sound right to me.”

Morgan's attorney said Monday that Crosby did not believe he bribedMorgan.

The attorney also said, “Morgan testified he did not receive or solicit any bribe from anyone, and Judge Cauthron found at sentencing that she adopted ‘the view that Mr. Morgan's testimony is all entirely correct and honest.'”

The attorney said, “The charge of bribery requires the government to prove both parties to the alleged ‘bribe' intended to commit a crime. … If no one thought the payments were a bribe — how can it be a bribe?”

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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