Witness implicates Rep. Terrill in probe
BY NOLAN CLAY © Copyright 2010 NewsOK.com
Sunday, June 13, 2010
6/13/10 at 5:52 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY — A witness in a political corruption investigation said state Rep. Randy Terrill on May 17 pushed for Sen. Debbe Leftwich to be hired at the state Medical Examiner's Office and warned the discussion was "dead man's talk."
Terrill, R-Moore, also specified how much Leftwich would be paid in the new job — $80,000 a year, the witness recalled.
"I didn't know if this would be right or wrong," the witness, Cherokee Ballard, told The Oklahoman. "I didn't feel right."
Ballard is the executive administrator, spokeswoman and legislative liaison for the Medical Examiner's Office. She confirmed she met Friday with Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater and told him about the meeting. The prosecutor is directing a grand jury investigation into why the job — transition coordinator — was created.
Here’s how witness Cherokee Ballard said Rep. Randy Terrill came up with how
much Sen. Debbe Leftwich would be paid as transition
coordinator for the state Medical Examiner’s office:
Terrill turned to Ballard, who is an administrator and spokeswoman for the Medical
Examiner’s office. Terrill asked, “What’s your salary?” She replied, “70,” short for
Terrill responded, “Well, she’ll be making more than you.”
Terrill then turned to Tom Jordan, the chief administrative
officer of the Medical Examiner’s office. He asked Jordan how much Jordan was
Jordan responded, “90.”
Terrill then said, “Well, it will be somewhere in between, like 80.”
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CHIEF OF ME OFFICE
Jordan: He confirmed he and Ballard met with Terrill on May 17.
Leftwich: On June 4 she denied ever asking Jordan for the job.
Ballard: She says she was at a meeting in Terrill's office with Jordan.
Terrill: He could not be reached for comment for this story.