June 7, 2007
Scrushy Tries to Get the Judge Bounced
Former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy filed for a writ of mandamus in the Eleventh Circuit to get Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller removed from the corruption case in which he was convicted along with former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. The Judge set the sentencing for June 26, and earlier denied a recusal motion related to his ownership interest in an Alabama corporation that has contracts with the military. According to Scrushy's memo in support of the writ of mandamus (available below):
[The company] provides fuel distribution services at Langley Air Force Base, in addition to other military installations. Assistant United States Attorney Feaga, the lead prosecutor assigned to this case, is a colonel in the United States Air Force reserve. Assigned to Langley Air Force Base, Attorney Feaga is an assistant to Staff Judge Advocate Brigadier General Richard C. Harding, who is the principle legal adviser to the Air Combat Command and staff on all legal issues at Langley, which by definition would include contracts such as those granted to [the company]. At no time did Chief Judge Fuller disclose to Scrushy he is the largest shareholder of several businesses which have substantial contracts and do business with branches of the United States government nor did he request a waiver from Scrushy after full and complete disclosure.
Appellate courts are generally loath to grant a writ of mandamus, and the connection identified between Judge Fuller and the prosecutor is a bit tenuous. But this case has been so contentious, it would not be a surprise to see the Eleventh Circuit at least consider the petition to ensure that the sentencing is done properly. An AP story (here) discusses Scrushy's filing. (ph)
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