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Trial continues for former state leader accused of bribery

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Testimony continues in the trial of a former statehouse leader accused of political corruption. Former state senator Mike Morgan is accused of taking bribes, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, in exchange for political favors.

Morgan faces charges of bribery, extortion and mail fraud.

Morgan finished his testimony Wednesday.

After that one of his co-defendants, a well-known local attorney took the stand in his own defense.

The pair repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Morgan is accused of prospering from his seat in the state senate, allegedly accepting more than $400,000 in bribes from multiple companies, to fight legislation that might’ve harmed those businesses.

Morgan, an attorney himself, maintained he received the documented payments only for his legal services.

Also on trial, Martin Stringer, a prominent local attorney took the stand and denied conspiring with Morgan to kill a bill in 2005 that could’ve prevented a company Stringer represented from building a landfill in Kay County.

Stringer is one of the city’s best known corporate attorneys.

In 2008, Stringer led settlement negotiations with the city of Seattle, helping relocate Kevin Durant and the Sonics to Oklahoma City.

The defense deliberately played up Stringer’s respected status in the community to the jury.

Also in court, another witness and a friend of Morgan’s told the jury there’s simply no paper trail proving Morgan took any specific legislative action to achieve a specific paid result.

The judge previously dismissed the charges against a third man initially accused in the case.

This week Morgan’s defense asked for a mistrial, a request the judge denied.

Prosecutors believe the case, which has gone on for the last few weeks, could finally wrap up in the next couple of days.

Neither side wants to talk on camera until after the case is decided.