Former Okla. Insurance Commissioner Wants Trial Moved

November 10, 2005

Former Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher, who’s facing charges of embezzlement and perjury, wants a judge to move his trial out of Oklahoma County, according to the Associated Press and the Oklahoman.

Fisher’s attorney, Robert L. Wyatt IV, argues in court filings that Fisher cannot get impartial jurors in the county because of news coverage and wants the trial moved to Newkirk, Ardmore or Ada.

“The publicity has been intense, massive and unforgettable,” the attorney wrote. “It has created animosity toward this defendant.”

Fisher, 65, is accused of embezzling his campaign funds by depositing a $1,000 state campaign check into his overdrawn personal bank account in 2003. He is accused of perjury for never disclosing the $1,000 on campaign reports. His trial is set for Feb. 6.

Prosecutors say moving the trial is unnecessary. Judge Susan Caswell will consider the defense request Nov. 21.

Judges rarely agree to move trials out of Oklahoma County. One exception was when bombing accomplice Terry Nichols’ trial was moved to McAlester.

Fisher, a Tulsa Democrat, resigned last year rather than face an ouster action in the state Senate.

Fisher also wants the judge to dismiss his bribery case because he claims he is being selectively prosecuted. Prosecutors dispute he was singled out.

Fisher is accused in the bribery case of accepting a $25,000 check and other gifts from Texas businessman Gene E. Phillips, his family and business associates in exchange for favorable treatment.
Fisher claims the $25,000 check was a loan.

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