A former state Senate bill writer on Thursday identified former state Rep. Randy Terrill as the legislator who had a new state job put into a 2010 reform bill.
“He gave me very specific information on what to add about this new job at the chief medical examiner's office,” Jennifer Lepard told jurors at Terrill's political bribery trial.
Terrill, a Republican, is accused of offering then-Sen. Debbe Leftwich an $80,000-a-year job at the medical examiner's office to not run for re-election in 2010. Leftwich is a Democrat. Terrill denies wrongdoing.
Lepard was the 12th prosecution witness to testify in the trial, which began Monday. Prosecutors plan to rest their case Friday.
Terrill is expected to testify Monday.
Prosecutors called Lepard in an attempt to establish that Terrill was behind the creation of the position of transition coordinator at the medical examiner's office.
In her testimony Thursday, Lepard described meeting with Terrill and state Sen. Anthony Sykes in Sykes' office. She said it was unusual for a House member to be in such a meeting over a Senate bill.
She said Terrill — reading from a list — instructed her on what to add to Senate Bill 738. She said Leftwich later came into the meeting and “we went over in general all the changes that were made.” She testified Leftwich's presence at the meeting also was unusual.
She recalled Thursday that the meeting was on May 19, 2010, just nine days from the end of the legislative session. Lepard said she drafted approximately 150 bills a year before leaving the Senate last November
Senate Bill 738 had been introduced in 2009 and was intended to put a number of reforms in place at the troubled medical examiner's office. Brad Henry, then governor, vetoed it on June 6, 2010, saying it was “fatally flawed” because of the provision creating the new job.
Sykes, R-Moore, told jurors Terrill was at the meeting about the reform bill because he was an emissary of the state House speaker. Sykes said Leftwich was at the meeting because she was known for her knowledge of the agency since she once had worked there.
Prosecutors Thursday put into evidence Leftwich's campaign contribution reports in an effort to prove to jurors she really was a candidate for the Senate race in 2010. Terrill's defense attorney has tried to raise questions in the trial about whether she actually could be considered a candidate because she never filed with the state Election Board.
The reports show she began raising funds for the 2010 race in 2007. She transferred $43,711 from her 2006 campaign then raised about $100,000 more before announcing she had decided to not run after all.
At least one fundraiser was held for her in 2010, according to the testimony Thursday.
She made a public announcement she was not running for re-election on May 28, 2010, the last day of the legislative session. That announcement came one day after both the state House and Senate had passed the bill creating the new job.
Jurors learned Thursday that she informed Democratic leaders in the state Senate that she was not running for re-election the first week in May 2010.
Former Sen. Charlie Laster, D-Shawnee, said he was shocked when she informed him she was leaving the Senate. He said he had spoken on her behalf at a fundraiser in 2010.
He said she did not tell him she planned to go back to work at the medical examiner's office. If she had, he said, “I would have felt betrayed.”
Jurors learned Wednesday that Leftwich did tell a Republican state senator, on April 19, 2010, that she was working on a deal with Republican legislative leaders to return to the medical examiner's office.
Terrill, 44, of Moore, is charged with a felony — offering a bribe to a candidate to withdraw. Leftwich, 62, of Oklahoma City, also is charged with a felony — soliciting and/or accepting the bribe to withdraw. Her jury trial is set to begin Dec. 9.
If convicted, each faces up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.