ATLANTA (CN) – A three-judge panel with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld all but two of the bribery convictions against former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and former CEO of HealthSouth Corporation Richard Scrushy, saying the case “involves allegations of corruption at the highest levels of Alabama state government.”
Siegleman and Scrushy were convicted in 2006 of various bribery charges stemming from Scrushy’s $500,000 contribution to Siegelman’s education lottery campaign in exchange for an appointment to the Alabama Certificate of Need Review Board.
Scrushy wanted a position with the board because “it determined the number of healthcare facilities in the state, thereby affecting HealthSouth’s ability to grow,” according to the opinion.
Judges Tjoflat, Edmondson and Flat upheld all of the allegations against Siegelman and Scrushy except for two counts involving honest services fraud, a statute recently redefined by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling. The Supreme Court found that the statute is limited to bribery and kickbacks rather than conduct such as self-dealing.
Siegelman was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison, but the appellate court released him after only nine months pending his appeal. Meanwhile, Scrushy, who was sentenced to six years and ten months, has been serving his time in a federal prison in Texas.
The judges sent the case back to federal court in Montgomery, Ala. so Siegelman and Scrushy can be resentenced.