OKLAHOMA CITY – A high-ranking state senator takes the witness stand in the bribery trial of a former state lawmaker.
Sen. Anthony Sykes testified that he helped craft the bill that created the controversial job at the heart of the case.
Prosecutors say former Oklahoma Rep. Randy Terrill offered former Oklahoma Sen. Debbe Leftwich a new $80,000-a-year state job at the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s office if she would not run for re-election.
Leftwich is also facing felony charges.
Prosecutors say Terrill tried to create the job and lobbied for Leftwich to get the position.
In exchange, Leftwich would agree not to seek re-election for her seat in the state senate.
Prosecutors allege Terrill wanted his friend, Rep. Mike Christian, to run for Leftwich’s seat.
During Thursday’s testimony, Sykes said he did not see the creation of the job as a bribe.
The governor at the time, Brad Henry, subsequently vetoed the bill that would have created the job.
More than a dozen current and former lawmakers are set to testify over the next several days.
Christian is not charged with a crime.
Terrill is expected to testify in his own defense.
If convicted, he could face up to two years in prison.
Both he and Leftwich are being tried separately.
Leftwich’s trial is set to begin in December.