Thursday, October 27, 2005
The government unsealed an indictment of former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy for allegedly paying $500,000 in bribes to a campaign committee for former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman in exchange for an appointment to a state board involved in approving, among other things, construction of hospitals. The indictment, returned in May but sealed because of the pending jury deliberations in the securities fraud prosecution of Scrushy, also names two former aids to Siegelman. Scrushy was found not guilty on all the charges in that case, and a New York Times story (here) quotes one of Scrushy's attorneys, Donald Watkins, as stating, "Apparently the spanking we gave them in Birmingham was not sufficient." Any guesses on how Scrushy will plead at his arraignment?
Like Scrushy, Siegelman has also been prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office on different corruption charges that were dismissed. To make things even more complicated, Siegelman is running for the Democratic nomination for Governor for the 2006 election, and if he won, there is at least a chance he could face former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is seeking the Republican nomination. Moore was ousted from the court for refusing to remove the Ten Commandments from the state courthouse. If this one gets to trial, it will certainly be interesting. (ph)