U.S. Supreme Court rejects former Auditor Jeff McMahan's appeal

Former Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan is serving an eight-year federal term.
BY CHRIS CASTEEL ccasteel@opubco.com Modified: January 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm •  Published: January 10, 2011
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by former Oklahoma Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan, who is serving an eight-year federal sentence for corruption.

Without comment, the high court declined to review McMahan's conviction and sentence, which were upheld in September by the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

McMahan and his wife, Lori, were convicted in 2008 of taking campaign donations and gifts from southeastern Oklahoma businessman Steve Phipps while McMahan was doing favors for Phipps' abstracting companies; the state auditor and inspector's office regulated abstracting companies until the McMahan case prompted the creation of a separate regulatory agency.

Phipps, who treated the McMahans to trips to New Orleans and Boston and bought jewelry for Lori McMahan, cooperated in the investigation of the McMahans.

McMahan, a Democrat convicted of one count of conspiracy and two counts of violating the Travel Act, argued to the 10th Circuit appeals court that the jury instructions at his trial in Muskogee were flawed, that there wasn't enough evidence to convict him, that evidence of his character should have been admitted and that the judge could have given him a lighter sentence.