Lawmaker Hopes Political Corruption Investigation Brings Change to State Capitol

By Adrianna Iwasinski, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY — One lawmaker is speaking out about the political corruption investigation saying he hopes it will shed light on a flawed system and lead to big changes.

There is still substantial fallout from Gov. Brad Henry’s veto of Senate Bill 738 and House Bill 2486 that were supposed to reform the embattled Medical Examiner’s office. The two bills are at the center of a political corruption investigation involving Republican State Representatives Randy Terrill, Mike Christian, and Democratic State Senator Debbe Leftwich.

The D.A. is investigating whether there was unlawful, political maneuvering to offer Leftwich a high paying job with the M.E.’s office, and in return she would give up her Senate seat.

“I have been speaking out against conference committees for a long time,” said Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City.

Reynolds calls himself a government watchdog, and said he got into politics to get rid of political corruption after experiencing it first-hand.

“And that’s been my hallmark for the past eight years,” Reynolds said.

Now Reynolds is speaking out hoping this latest investigation into possible political corruption leads to some real change into how business is done at the capitol.

“Someone goes around and says hey here’s what we put in the bill, will you sign it out and the members say sure because that’s how they’ve been doing it for years,” Reynolds said.

NEWS 9 tried to contact all the lawmakers involved in writing and passing Senate Bill 738 and House Bill 2486 to find out who wrote the amendment creating the transition coordinator position and how to pay for it. Both Representative Ken Miller and Senator Todd Lamb responded to the requests in writing.

Lamb and Milled both claimed to have no knowledge.

“You know what? That’s inexcusable when you are going to sign for a bill you should know what language is in it. Now even though it’s inexcusable, unfortunately that has been the practice here at the capitol,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said the only people who can put language into a bill is the author of the bill. Miller said he authored the House Bill 2486, but as budget chair, he is the principle author of all appropriation bills and said the language used is standard.

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