A federal appeals court upheld most of the bribery and corruption charges against former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and all of the charges against former HealthSouth Corp. Chief Executive Officer Richard Scrushy.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta struck down two of the seven charges that Siegelman was convicted of and ordered a new sentencing hearing. That means Siegelmans seven-year sentence could be reduced.
But he wont get off entirely: The court upheld key bribery, conspiracy and obstruction counts against him in what prosecutors described as a scheme that put Scrushy on a state hospital regulatory board when he was at the helm of HealthSouth. The court upheld all six counts against Scrushy and his sentence of almost seven years. Siegelman, 63, and Scrushy, 56, were convicted in 2006 by a federal court jury in Montgomery, where Siegelman was a prominent Democrat with a political career dating back three decades.
Siegelman has claimed his prosecution was pushed by Republicans, including former White House adviser Karl Rove, a claim career federal prosecutors who handled the case have emphatically denied. Rove, a Texas strategist, was once heavily involved in Alabama politics.