Former Oklahoma state senator testifies at own law license reinstatement hearing

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A former state Senate Pro Temp testified on Thursday during the second day of his law license reinstatement hearing at the Oklahoma Bar Association

“I was a lawyer, a legislator, convicted of a serious crime. That reflects poorly on the profession and the legislature,” Former Senator Mike Morgan said on Thursday during the second day of his law license reinstatement hearing. 

During the hearing on Thursday, Morgan was on the stand for about six hours. 

“I never should have let my name be put on that bill,” he said. 

Morgan is talking about SB 738, which passed during the 2007 legislative session. It’s ultimately the reason Morgan was convicted of one count of bribery in 2012.

He spent 18 months in prison after being found guilty of accepting $12,000 in bribes to influence that piece of legislation, which lifted some regulatory burdens from companies that own assisted living facilities. 

“You don’t have to be in a back room with a briefcase intending to commit a crime,” said Morgan during his testimony. “It can happen to you if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing.”

Morgan testified that the person who allegedly bribed him was a client of his private law firm. He claims he didn’t file invoices properly, which ultimately led to his downfall. 

“My lack of diligence is what caused this problem. If I had documented my files, if I had made notes the way I normally do, know how to do, I think none of this would have happened,” he said. 

Morgan now works as senior administrator for Cactus Drilling and he is hoping, if he gets his law license reinstated, to work as in-house counsel for the company.  

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The Oklahoma Bar Association’s attorneys though oppose his request to have his license reinstated. They disagree with his claim that he had no intent to do any wrong, pointing to testimony from his trial. 

“Mr. Morgan was not working for Silver Oak as a lawyer. Information from three other individuals show he was pursuing Silver Oak’s legislative agenda as the President Pro Temp,” Peter Haddock, Assistant General Counsel, said. 

Morgan’s attorneys have rested their case. The OBA has one witness to call.  The hearing is in recess until Friday morning at 9:30.

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