Michael Konopasek, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma House of Representatives committee looking into bribery charges against a state representative wrapped up its investigation Friday.
Rep. Randy Terrill is accused of offering State Sen. Debbie Leftwich an $80,000-a-year job at the Medical Examiner's office in exchange for not seeking re-election. The DA says all of that was a scheme to make way for Mike Christian to replace Leftwich in the Senate.
A Committee of four Republicans and four Democrats investigated the allegations against Terrill. On Friday, committee members said Terrill should not receive any additional punishment.
The time and money spent on the investigation have some Oklahomans upset.
"If I start thinking about everything my tax money's going for that I don't agree with, I'm never getting out of bed in the morning," said taxpayer Jim Anderson.
Anderson said he isn't surprised to hear there is a possibility corruption took place.
A committee spokesperson said unless Terrill is found guilty of committing felony bribery, he will not be expelled from the House of Representatives.
"The committee felt that going further through this process and conducting a lengthy trial or hearing just to get the same type of verbal reprimand … was not the way to go," said Rep. Fred Jordan, committee chairman.
The speaker of the house said he stands by the committee and feels the investigation was warranted.
"We felt like we had a constitutional responsibility to check into this matter," said Rep. Kris Steele, speaker of the house.
Steele said at least $168,000 of taxpayer money was dished out for the committee's legal services.
Anderson said the fact that he has to pay for an investigation that did not result in any real change is frustrating.
"I believe, throw the book at them," said Anderson. "If what they're doing is illegal, then they need to serve the time."
In a statement, Terrill said he is completely innocent of any wrongdoing and also said Friday's report is another step toward total exoneration.
Terrill is still waiting for his day in court on the criminal charges against him.
Full text of the statement Released by Rep. Randy Terrill:
I want to thank the committee for the work they have done on this investigation. Although I did not participate because of my objection to the lack of openness and transparency in the process, I none-the-less appreciate the apparent even-handedness they displayed in writing their report. It is just unfortunate the Speaker of the House insisted upon a secret proceeding and put all of us in this position to begin with. But, as I've said all along, I am completely innocent of any wrongdoing. And, the investigative report released today is another step toward my total exoneration and ultimate vindication.