U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court Won’t Hear Appeal by Former Alabama Governor in Contribution Case
Posted Jun 4, 2012 11:47 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal in a public corruption case by former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy and former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.
The court denied cert today, report the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.), Bloomberg News and the Associated Press. Scrushy and Siegelman were convicted in 1999 based on allegations that Siegelman appointed Scrushy to a state hospital board in exchange for Scrushy’s $500,000 donation supporting a state lottery referendum. Siegelman had favored the lottery to fund education, the Los Angeles Times reported in a preview of the case.
Siegelman had argued that, in bribery cases involving political contributions, courts should require an express spoken or written agreement promising a benefit in exchange for the donation, Bloomberg says. An inference of a quid pro quo should not be enough, the cert petition said.
Election law experts and more than 100 former state attorneys general had urged the court to grant cert in Siegelman’s case, the Los Angeles Times says. They contended the law is murky, paving the way for politically motivated prosecutions.
Scrushy and Siegelman were able to win dismissal of two counts each based on a prior Supreme Court ruling on honest-services fraud. Scrushy’s sentence was reduced by one year, while Siegelman awaits resentencing, the Wall Street Journal reports.