Criminal Justice

Ex-Ala. Gov. Siegelman Disappointed in Ruling Tossing Only Two Bribery Counts

A federal appeals court has overturned convictions on two bribery counts against former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.

Siegelman didn’t consider the ruling by the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as a victory. The court upheld convictions on five counts against Siegelman and four against Scrushy, according to the Associated Press and the Birmingham News.

“This does not come as a surprise,” Siegelman told AP. “This whole thing has been a disappointment.” Both Siegelman and Scrushy plan to continue their appeals, their lawyers told the Birmingham News.

Prosecutors had contended Scrushy had obtained a seat on a state health board by making $500,000 in campaign contributions. The court opinion (PDF) said convictions based on those allegations could stand under the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Skilling v. United States, since the counts involved bribery allegations.

The appeals court overturned honest services fraud counts, however, based on allegations that Scrushy used his board seat to obtain favorable treatment for HealthSouth and conspired with Siegelman in the effort. Skilling does not permit a conviction based on a self-dealing theory, the court said.

Prior coverage: “Lawyer for Ex-Ala. Gov Says New Honest-Services Review Is ‘Massive Victory’ “

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