Oklahoma Politician Reacts to Corruption Allegations
By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Representative Mike Christian is speaking out after allegations of corruption against him, Representative Randy Terrill and Senator Debbe Leftwich were made public.
News broke over the weekend that Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater is investigating corruption allegations against the three lawmakers involving a scheme that would have would have helped to get Christian elected to the Senate and Senator Leftwich a new job.
The lawmakers are accused of crafting a plan where Leftwich would not seek re-election to her Senate seat, so Christian could. In exchange, Leftwich would be given a new $80,000 a year position in the Medical Examiner's office to help transition the struggling agency.
"The recent allegations of public corruption are completely ridiculous," Rep. Christian said.
Instead, Christian said it's Prater who should be investigated. Christian alleged Prater along with County Commissioner Brian Maughan have made the allegations up in an effort to destroy any chances Christian would have of winning, making way for Maughan to run for the open Senate seat.
"This is nothing more but an abuse of power and political manipulation by the D.A. and power hungry County Commissioner," Christian said.
However, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater responded, calling the allegations absurd.
"When public officials are alleged to be involved in wrong doing, involving public money, it's my duty to make the public aware of that," said Prater.
The money stems from the $80,000 a year position within the Medical Examiner's office. The position would have been created with new legislation that was passed by both the House and Senate. Sunday, however, the Governor vetoed the bill that would have created the position as well as the one to fund it.
"Investigation or not, there is no reason to create and fund the type of new position outlined in this legislation," Governor Henry said. "[The bill] contained many important reforms to help get the Medical Examiner's office back on track, but buried within the legislation was a highly-paid, new position that is entirely unnecessary in the operation of the agency. Because of that fatal flaw, I had no choice but to veto the bill."
Regardless of the allegations made by the District Attorney and actions taken by the governor, Christian remains committed to clearing his name and in time he says he will.
"If you doubt what I am saying today you'll only need to watch and wait. Mark my words Brian Maughan will file for the state Senate this week, which is and has been the goal of the conspiracy between Commissioner Maughan and District Attorney David Prater," Christian said.
If Maughan is to file for the Oklahoma Senate he will have until Wednesday. As of right now, Maughan said he has no intentions of running.
In light of the allegations against him, Christian said he will not seek election to the Senate seat recently vacated by Senator Leftwich, instead he will seek re-election to the House of Representatives.