Former President Pro Tem of Oklahoma Senate Sentenced to Serve 18 Months for Bribery
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – This morning, United States District Judge Robin Cauthron sentenced MICHAEL STEVEN MORGAN, 61, of Stillwater, Oklahoma, to serve 18 months in federal prison following his conviction for bribery in 2012, announced Mark A. Yancey, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
Morgan was convicted following a jury trial in March of 2012. According to evidence at trial, Morgan, an attorney, accepted payments from a business that owned assisted-living centers, disguised as legal fees, in exchange for favorable treatment in the legislature. Specifically, Morgan took twelve $1,000 bribe payments in 2006 and 2007, disguised as legal fees, from Silver Oak Senior Living Center. Evidence showed that Silver Oak had been at odds with the Oklahoma Department of Health, which was attempting to impose regulations on assisted-living facilities. In exchange for the bribe payments, evidence showed that Morgan authored Senate Bill 738, which became law after modification at the end of the 2007 session and helped Silver Oak by lifting some of its regulatory burdens.
The jury found Morgan not guilty of conspiracy and certain mail fraud counts. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on one count of extortion and other mail fraud counts against Morgan. Morgan was originally sentenced in 2013 and, following an appeal, was resentenced today to serve 18 months in federal prison.
This case is the result of an investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigation and was being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott E. Williams.