Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Richard Scrushy’

Karl Rove Destroyed My Life

By Paul Alexander, The Daily Beast. Posted December 27, 2008.

How a former governor — and a rising star in the Democratic Party — ended up mopping floors in prison and how he’s fighting to get out.

Last week, Al Gore sent an email message urging supporters to give money to Don Siegelman’s legal defense fund. Gore is the latest in a string of high profile supporters to suggest Siegelman, the former Governor of Alabama, was the victim of a Republican plot when he was found guilty of bribery, conspiracy and fraud in 2006, and sentenced to seven years in prison.

Now, in the waning days of the Bush administration, Siegelman is trying to win back his freedom — not to mention his good name — in a courtroom in Atlanta. Earlier this year, an appeals court granted his release after he had served nine months, saying the Governor’s appeal had raised “substantial questions” about the case against him. Siegelman’s cause was helped by a bipartisan group of 54 former state attorneys general from across the country who filed a federal appeals brief supporting his bid to overturn the conviction. Republican insiders have also come forward to say Siegelman was unfairly targeted by Rove and his circle.

Making it in prison depends on one’s level of tolerance. I’m used to mopping in my wife’s kitchen. It was just a bigger floor.

Siegelman’s appeal was heard earlier this month and the verdict will determine whether he returns to prison to finish out his sentence, or goes free.

How did a former governor — and a rising star in the Democratic Party — end up in a situation like this?

On June 29, 2006, Siegelman and Richard Scrushy, the CEO of HealthSouth, a chain of medical rehabilitation services with facilities both in the United States and abroad, were found guilty by a jury in Montgomery, Alabama, of federal bribery charges. A year later, Judge Mark Fuller, who had clear conflicts of interest in the case — a company in which he holds a major stake received a $175 million government contract at one point during the legal proceedings — sentenced Scrushy to almost seven years in prison. Siegelman got 88 months.

There was one central transaction that sent these men to prison for all this time. Not long after Siegelman had been elected governor in 1998, he convinced Scrushy to contribute $500,000 to a political action committee, which was supporting the establishment of a lottery in Alabama to pay for higher education. At the same time, he talked Scrushy into serving on a state hospital regulatory board on which he had already served three times — appointed by both Democrats and Republicans — and from which he had recently resigned. To US attorney Leura Canary, the wife of William “Bill” Canary, the close friend and former business associate of Karl Rove, the act constituted bribery, for which she charged the two men. Among the many other charges, dismissed by the jury, this was the one that stuck.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: