An insurance company owner at times gave conflicting testimony on Feb. 7 about a $1,000 contribution to former Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher, the Oklahoman and the Associated Press reported.
Mississippi insurance company owner Johnny Morgan at first told jurors in Fisher’s embezzlement and perjury trial that he donated the money for Fisher’s U.S. Senate campaign but he later said the money was for whatever office Fisher was seeking.
“I really didn’t give it a whole lot of thought,” Morgan said.
Prosecutors allege the May 14, 2003, donation was for Fisher’s re-election campaign, and that he embezzled his own state campaign funds when he deposited the $1,000 in his overdrawn personal checking account.
Fisher, 66, is innocent because he planned to use the donation to “test the waters” for his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, his attorneys said.
When Morgan provided conflicting statements about his intent, prosecutors played for jurors a tape of his comments in 2004, when he told their investigator, “I thought he was running for insurance commissioner again.”
Morgan said, “Oh, is that right?” when told in the June 2004 interview that Fisher also was then running for U.S. Senate. Morgan later said on the tape that the donation “must have been for the Senate.”
He testified he met Fisher twice and decided to donate after hearing others describe him at a golf tournament in Oklahoma as a “good, solid businessman” and good insurance commissioner.
Fisher was running a 2006 re-election campaign when he got the donation and didn’t announce for the U.S. Senate until November 2003, months after getting Morgan’s check.
After he was charged, Fisher returned Morgan’s donation.
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