More Questions in Case of Ex-Alabama Governor
As former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (D) appeals his bribery conviction in federal court, new questions have emerged about whether the prosecution was politically motivated.
Siegelman was found guilty on seven counts of bribery and related charges in 2006 after accusations that he gave Richard M. Scrushy, the founder and ex-CEO of HealthSouth, a seat on the state hospital regulatory board in exchange for Scrushy's $500,000 in donations to the state lottery fund.
Siegelman was sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine.He served nine months but was released in March after an appellate judge cited "substantial questions" in his case. His appeal is scheduled to be heard next month.
Siegelman's much-publicized conviction has been at the center of conspiracy theories, with his supporters arguing that his prosecution was orchestrated by GOP leaders, including former White House aide Karl Rove. Siegelman's case has been cited by Democratic leaders of the House Judiciary Committee as evidence that Justice Department prosecutors under the Bush Administration had become politicized.
The U.S. attorney in Mobile, Ala., Leura G. Canary, is married to GOP donor and operative William Canary, who has advised one of Siegelman's political rivals, Gov. Bob Riley. William Canary also served in the White House under former President George H.W. Bush.
Leura Canary withdrew from the Siegelman case in May 2002 but a Justice Department employee, Tamarah T. Grimes, has filed a new complaint suggesting that Canary continued to play a role in the case as it moved through the legal system.
Time magazine first obtained internal prosecution e-mails from Grimes, who is involved in a separate workplace complaint, that show Canary offered praise, and suggestions, even after her recusal.
By Derek Kravitz |
November 24, 2008; 1:23 PM ET
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Posted by: IowaGlenn | November 24, 2008 2:46 PM