Hearing Set In Bribery Case Against Oklahoma Lawmakers
Chris McKinnon, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A preliminary hearing in the bribery case against a state representative and former state senator is set to start Monday morning.
The case has been challenged all the way to the state Supreme Court over immunity protections for lawmakers. But Saturday morning, Debbe Leftwich and State Representative Randy Terrill are scheduled to be in court.
News 9 spoke with Robert McCampbell, a lawyer for Debbe Leftwich, who says he can't comment on any evidence in the case, but did say he is confident in his defense if the case does go to trial.
During the preliminary hearing scheduled to start Monday, a judge will decide if there is enough evidence to go to trial.
Debbe Leftwich stands accused of accepting a bribe for the withdrawal of her candidacy. Representative Randall Terrill is charged with offering that bribe.
The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office alleges Terrill and Leftwich helped devise a plan to create the "Transitional Coordinator" position at the medical examiner's office. That plan would have given Leftwich the position with an $80,000 yearly salary in exchange for the withdrawal of her re-election bid in 2010.
Court documents show Terrill was responsible for creating the coordinator position in a bill, which passed a day before the end of the 2010 legislative session.
The charges against the two stem from direct violations of the Oklahoma Constitution, which prohibit anyone from offering or receiving anything of value in exchange for their withdrawal from any election.
The 21-page court affidavit shows several lawmakers, lobbyists and other Capital insiders were interviewed and provided evidence for the case.
Debbe Leftwich's lawyer told News 9 that he is looking forward to the court proceedings and proving Ms. Leftwich committed no crime during her time in office. Though he would not get in to how he plans on proving it.
Prosecutors are expected to call more than a dozen witnesses over the four days of testimony, including past and current lawmakers, and even former Governor Brad Henry. It's set to start at 9 a.m. Monday.