VanMeter bribery trial resumes today

Monday, October 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Former Deputy Health Commissioner Brent VanMeter could begin presenting his defense today in his federal bribery trial.

Prosecutors are expected to finish presenting their evidence against VanMeter and nursing home owner James Smart, perhaps as early as this morning. The defense could begin offering evidence before noon.

Prosecutors contend VanMeter solicited a one-thousand dollar bribe from Smart. Defense attorneys say the two men are old friends who were just joking around when VanMeter said he would take two percent to fix a 50-thousand dollar problem for Smart.

Jurors have heard 15 tapes of VanMeter's telephone conversations, mostly with Smart.