OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge has ordered state Rep. Randy Terrill to turn over $11,301 to the creditor's trustee in his 2005 bankruptcy.

Oklahoma Federal Bankruptcy Judge T.M. Weaver ruled Tuesday that Rep. Terrill - and his wife, Angela - had failed to disclose the funds as part of the couple's 2005 bankruptcy.

Weaver's ruling came in response to a motion by the creditor's trustee in the case, Edmond attorney John D. Mashburn. In a motion filed earlier this year, Mashburn had asked the court to order the Terrills to turn over $11,301 in funds which, he said, the couple did not disclose in their original bankruptcy filing.

Tuesday, Terrill's attorney, Jeffrey West, refused to comment on the ruling. "I don't want to make a comment," West said. "I need to talk to Randy about this."

West said he didn't know where Terrill - who didn't attend the hearing - was. "I think he may be attending a meeting," he said.

Mashburn said the court realized the items listed on Terrill's reports were loans.

"The court determined, as I sought in my motion, that there were loans that were owed to Mr. Terrill by his campaign committee at the time he declared bankruptcy," he said.

He said the those loans from Terrill to his 2004 campaign and should have been reported as assets.

Those campaign filings - along with the Terrills' 2005 bankruptcy - became controversial after stories surfaced this summer in a Hispanic newspaper alleging Terrill had failed to list the loans as assets.

In June, Mashburn asked the court to reopen the bankruptcy. Terrill, R-Moore, claimed the request was political motivated.

At that time, he told The Transcript it was "more than coincidence" that this case is coming up just a week before election. "My political opponents have been trying to peddle this story ... for some time," he said.

Earlier this month, Terrill testified at a court hearing that the items - listed as loans on his 2004 2005, and 2006 campaign filings - were "nothing more than errors on his Ethic Commission reports."

"What you are referring to as loans are not loans," Terrill said during an Oct. 8 bankruptcy hearing. "There are, probably, a half-dozen or more errors on those reports. And under state law I am allowed to correct them."

During the hearing, Terrill, told the court he should have listed the items as "in-kind contributions" but didn't, because of advice he received from a staff member of the state Ethics Commission.

Instead the items were listed as "loans" on his campaign filings. Notations on some checks - written later by Terrill to himself and drawn on his campaign account - listed the amounts paid back to Terrill as "partial loan repayments."

Terrill said the checks were simply reimbursements for campaign expenses.

"Those listings were put on that particular document based on a conversation we had with the Ethics Commission staff," he said on Oct. 8. Asked after the Oct. 8 hearing to identify the commission staff member who offered the advice, Terrill refused. "I'm not going to say who," he said.

Tuesday, Weaver rebuffed Terrill's earlier testimony.

"Mr. Terrill didn't identify the Ethics Commission staff member, nor was that member called to corroborate his testimony," the judge said. "Mr. Terrill signed and completed the documents in his own handwriting. And his explanation is simply not supported by evidence."

Weaver also questioned Terrill's lack of understanding about what a constitutes a 'loan.'

"The word loan is a well-used and common term," Weaver said. "And if the debtor followed advice to the otherwise he did so at his own peril."

Terrill's testimony, Weaver said, lacked credibility.

"The evidence is clear and unmistakable that Mr. Terrill made loans to his campaign," he said. "And the debtor is ordered to pay the trustee."

Mashburn said he would move quickly to recover the funds.

He said he would draft a court order for the payment, which will be issued "in the next day or so."

Terrill and his wife filed their Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition Oct. 14, 2005, less than a year after he was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Court records show the Terrills had $43,250 in assets and $78,179 in debts when they filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Terrill said the couple's financial problems caused by credit card debt incurred by his wife while she was in college.

Terrill is currently the chair of the House of Representatives' Revenue and Taxation Committee. He is seeking his third term. Terrill faces Democrat Troy Green in next Tuesday's general election.



M. Scott Carter366-3545scarter@normantranscript.com



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