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Former Okla. senator sentenced in bribery scheme

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OKLAHOMA CITY—A former Oklahoma senator was sentenced for his part in a corruption scandal.

Former Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Michael Steven Morgan was sentenced to five years’ probation for bribery.

The 57-year-old, from Stillwater, was accused in three different bribery schemes but was only found guilty in one.

According to evidence at trial, Sen. Morgan, who was an attorney at the time, accepted payments for a business that owned assisted-living centers.

While the payments were disguised as legal fees, they were really in exchange for favorable treatment in the legislature.

The evidence showed Sen. Morgan took $12,000 from Silver Oak Senior Living Center.

The center had been at odds with the Oklahoma Department of Health, which was attempting to impose regulations on assisted-living facilities.

In exchange for the bribes, he authored Senate Bill 738, which lifted some of the regulatory burdens from the center.

In addition to serving five years of probation, Sen. Morgan was ordered to pay $12,000.

 “While this was not the sentence for which we advocated, the determination of sentencing in federal court is within the discretion of the judge,” said U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats. “This is one of the most significant public corruption cases in this district in decades. Both the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI remain committed as ever to the pursuit of public corruption cases and holding accountable any public officials who abuse their positions for personal gain. I commend the Assistant United States Attorneys and FBI Special Agents for their extraordinary work in this long and complex investigation and prosecution.”