Oklahoma Rep. Randy Terrill Won't Be Censured

By Carter, M Scott | THE JOURNAL RECORD, September 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

Oklahoma Rep. Randy Terrill Won't Be Censured


Carter, M Scott, THE JOURNAL RECORD


State Rep. Randy Terrill's conduct was egregiously reprehensible, a special legislative committee said, assuming it happened. Nonetheless, it declined to recommend punishment for the controversial lawmaker.

Announced in a report Friday afternoon, the Special Investigative Committee of the Oklahoma House of Representatives said it made no findings about the bribery allegations against Terrill, but assumed the testimony of the witnesses against him was true.

The report did not include transcripts of witness testimony or any supporting documents.

"Solely for the purposes of determining whether the committee should proceed further, the committee does not discount any of the statements made by the various witnesses," the report said, "but simply assumes they are true."

Terrill did not provide evidence to the committee nor did he cross-examine the committee's witnesses.

"It should be noted that cross-examination of witnesses by Rep. Terrill might have caused the committee to alter the assumption of the veracity of the allegations," the report said. "The judicial process will afford Rep. Terrill the opportunity to make his own presentation."

Terrill issued a brief statement Friday applauding the report.

"I want to thank the committee for the work they have done on this investigation," the Moore Republican said. "Although I did not participate because of my objection to the lack of openness and transparency in the process, I nonetheless appreciate the apparent evenhandedness they displayed in writing their report."

Terrill had less praise for House Speaker Kris Steele, R- Shawnee.

"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," he said. "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."

The report followed an Oklahoma Supreme Court hearing last week about case. At that hearing, attorneys for former state Sen. Debbe Leftwich, a Democrat, argued the case against her should be thrown out because discussions about legislation were privileged under the speech and debate clause of the state's constitution. …

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