Committee will decide McMahan's impeachment

Monday, March 17th 2008, 10:39 pm
By: News 9

By Mary Joseph, NEWS 9

A committee of Oklahoma lawmakers will decide if state Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan should be impeached. McMahan is accused of accepting improper trips and illegal campaign contributions.

Results from the committee's first meeting include hiring an attorney, Andrew Lester, to look into the case. The members did not talk about timelines, but would like to complete their investigation sooner rather than later.

McMahan is entangled in two investigations. In federal court, he faces allegations of conspiracy, mail fraud and violating the Travel Act to commit bribery.

McMahan is also the center of a House of Representatives investigation to determine if he should stay in office or face impeachment.

Committee members would like to get the work done before the end of the session in May and before McMahon's criminal trial scheduled to start in June.

We don't know what the facts are going to be, but we would like to complete this process if at all possible before his trial starts," said Rep. David Braddock

McMahan's attorney, Rand Eddy said he would instead like to see the committee to take action after the criminal trial.

"We would prefer not to have the evidence put forth in the public light prior to the trial because it could very well deprive Mr. McMahan of a fair trial," Eddy said.

The eight person house committee made up of four Republicans and four Democrats will have the power to subpoena witnesses during its investigation.

Eddy said McMahan will not be testifying.

"Mr. McMahan will assert his 5th amendment privileges as far as the impeachment proceedings go," Eddy said.

If the committee recommends impeachment, then the House will vote. If it moves forward, there will be a trial in the Senate.

McMahan, along with his wife who was also indicted by a federal grand jury, have pleaded not guilty.

McMahan maintains his innocence and said he will not resign from office.