Former state insurance commissioner sentenced

Tuesday, February 21st 2006, 8:43 am
By: News On 6

An Oklahoma County jury sentenced former Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher to three years in prison Tuesday for perjury and embezzlement.

Fisher was sentenced to one year in prison for depositing a $1,000 campaign check into his overdrawn personal banking account in May 2003. He was sentenced to two years for never disclosing this transaction on his state campaign reports. He was also given two $10,000 fines.

He was released on a $50,000 appeal bond following sentencing.

On his way out of the courthouse, Fisher said:

``I wanted to stay home with my wife and family.''

Fisher had argued that he planned to use the money to ``test the waters'' for a 2004 U.S. Senate campaign.

The prosecution's final exhibit, however, shows Fisher didn't officially start his U.S. Senate campaign until January 2004 and never disclosed a donation from Mississippi insurance company owner Johnny Morgan on his federal campaign reports.

After he was charged, Fisher returned $1,000 to Morgan, who had made conflicting statements before and during trial about which campaign was supposed to receive the money. Morgan's secretary wrote ``campaign'' on a memo line but was not more specific.

Fisher resigned in 2004 shortly before he was to face a trial in the state Senate on five articles of impeachment approved by the House that accused him of incompetence, neglect of duty and corruption.

This is the first of five criminal cases against Fisher to go to trial. He also faces other criminal charges including bribery, filing a false income tax return, failure to pay over money to the state and failure to report charitable contributions. Trial dates have not been set in those cases.