View Full Version : OMG! A Dem going to prison!

06-28-2007, 08:03 PM
Who would have thought a Democrat could be involved in such things??????????

By BOB JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
16 minutes ago

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman was sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy got nearly seven years Thursday in a bribery and corruption case that the judge said damaged public trust in state government.

Supporters of both men had testified at their sentencing hearing, describing the positive impact they have had in Alabama during their careers, as attorneys pleaded with U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller to show mercy.

"While it is true the good far exceeds the bad, I must impose a fair punishment to reassure all that come before this court that justice is blind," Fuller said in sentencing Siegelman.

Both men were immediately taken into custody after the judge denied defense requests to let them remain free while they appeal.

The two once-prominent figures in politics and business were escorted out of the courtroom by U.S. marshals and were not allowed to talk to family members. Scrushy's family cried quietly in the courtroom. Siegelman's wife, Lori, left immediately.

Asked by reporters about her husband's sentence and being immediately taken into custody, she said, "I expected it." She got into her car without further comment.

Siegelman was fined $50,000 due immediately and ordered to pay $181,325 in restitution to a state agency where prosecutors said kickbacks were made. He is to perform 500 hours of community service when his sentence of seven years, four months is completed.

Scrushy was fined $150,000 due immediately, plus ordered to pay restitution of $267,000 to United Way of Central Alabama. He also was ordered to perform 500 hours of community service after serving six years and 10 months in prison.

Both are to be on supervised release for three years when their terms end.

Fuller had increased the possible sentence range for Siegelman to more than 15 years earlier Thursday and left Scrushy's possible range at eight to 10 years. But he was not bound by the guidelines. Prosecutors asked for 30 years for Siegelman and 25 for Scrushy, while the defense pleaded for probation for both.

Siegelman, 61, and Scrushy, 54, were convicted last year of bribery, conspiracy and mail fraud. The government accused Siegelman of naming Scrushy to a hospital regulatory board in exchange for $500,000 in donations to Siegelman's 1999 campaign for a state lottery for education. The defense contended there was no quid-pro-quo or personal benefit.

Siegelman also was convicted of obstruction of justice for trying to hide money given by a lobbyist for a motorcycle. The defense contends it was a legitimate transaction and not as depicted by prosecutors.

Prosecutor Joseph Fitzpatrick urged Fuller to hand down a stiff punishment.

"It will send the message that if these people can be sent to prison, it certainly can happen to a local politician," he said.

Siegelman wiped at tears as he asked the judge for mercy, apologizing to the people of Alabama but denying he took a bribe from Scrushy.

"Your honor, I am not a perfect person, but I am a good person. I have made mistakes. I have done some stupid things and some dumb things," he said. "Judge, you can decide whether I die in prison or go home to my family. Your honor, I ask you for mercy. I ask you to send me home."

Scrushy, who earlier introduced the judge to his nine children, motioned to them during his final statement.

"God has blessed me with this family. It does concern me greatly the effect on my family if I am placed in prison," Scrushy said.

Fitzpatrick, a prosecutor in the Alabama attorney general's office who has worked with the federal prosecution on the case, acknowledged that both Siegelman and Scrushy have done good things for the people of Alabama.

"But your honor, sometimes good men do bad things and sometimes bad men do good things," he said.

Earlier Thursday, Fuller signaled a prison term awaited both as he refused to reduce the guidelines and instead increased them.

"I am convinced the conduct Gov. Siegelman engaged in damaged the public's confidence in the government of this state," Fuller said.

Attorney Susan James told Fuller she is concerned about Siegelman's safety if he is given a lengthy sentence, pointing out that as a former Alabama attorney general and governor he has a history of pushing for tough anti-crime legislation and for fighting against parole for some prisoners. She said that at his age, "the rest of his productive life will be wasted while he's in prison."

But chief prosecutor Louis Franklin said Siegelman deserved a harsh sentence partly because of his tough stance against crime.

"To say that when someone takes a harsh stance and then turns around and commits a crime they should be given lenient punishment, that's the height of hypocrisy," Franklin told Fuller.

Siegelman was a state Democratic Party official in Birmingham when he was elected secretary of state in 1978. He soon became one of the state's most popular politicians, eventually serving as attorney general and lieutenant governor before being elected governor in 1998.

Scrushy founded a small health care company in Birmingham in the early 1980s that would grow into HealthSouth Corp., one of the nation's leaders in outpatient surgery and rehabilitative health care.

He was fired as a $1.7 billion accounting scandal was uncovered, but he was acquitted of criminal charges in the fraud by a federal court jury in Birmingham in 2005. Siegelman also had criminal charges against him dismissed after a federal judge in Birmingham struck down key evidence in an alleged Medicaid fraud case.

One of Siegelman's attorneys, Robert Blakey, gave Fuller a list of former governors of various states who have been convicted of crimes but given sentences lighter than what Siegelman would receive according to the guidelines.

The governors included former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in a racketeering case, and former Alabama Gov. Guy Hunt, who received probation after being convicted in 1993 of spending money from a tax exempt inaugural fund for personal items.

06-28-2007, 09:25 PM
They can get together with the Republicans there,and form a third Party /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

06-29-2007, 05:46 AM
Yeah..they could call it the "Criminal Party". Oh, wait, they already did that. They call it "Congress"! /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Gayle in MD
06-29-2007, 09:39 AM
Steve Griles went to prison this week, for his involvment in the Abramoff scandal, too. He's going to find many more Republicans to chum with in there, than Democrats. Of course, certain people couldn't possibly take any note of that... /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

06-29-2007, 12:16 PM
I have to say that this is not a democrat or republican issue as we are being taken to the cleaners by both parties, the Democrats will, again, outnumber the republicans in jail as they gain power back. This is a fairly local issue here and i started to feel sorry for these guys as their week of tearful pleading was covered like it was as important as Larry King grilling Paris Hilton. However, these guys violated the public trust, I know it's the norm now for "public servants" but they were arrogant in their defense right up to sentencing where, like Paris, they found God and "didn't personally profit" from the deal, except for the $500,000!

There may be trustworthy people in public service but it's sure hard to see any right now. If this had been poor Paris, she would have gotten 20 years...

All politicians are leaches, at best. I am beginning to thonk we have pel mel, the wrong people in prisons altogether. Perhaps the detainees in Cuba are better released into society, near Washington, D.C.

06-29-2007, 01:00 PM
OMG ??? You are shocked and confused?
Maybe you thought the Republicans had the copyrights on corruption..
Given the news of the past few years ....it's understandable.
While every admin has it's share of greedy opportunists...it's been taken to a whole new level by the current leadership.
While we could just write off the missing billions...business as usual...the total incompetence, arrogance, "above the law" attitude ,manipulation of the news,attempt to control the Justice Dep't, and the least qualified political appointees, as a group, in our history.....has put this country, and the world at grave risk......
And let's not forget...he has virtually bankrupted the country in the process.
I wouldn't want to have the guilt of having voted for these ***** on my conscience...and be reminded of it,every time I see another Soldier missing limbs,blinded, or being buried at ages 19, 20, 21.....
AND...the roots of this Bush led Christianity seem to founded on Capitolism....every thing that Christ preached about sharing and caring, is tabled, if it costs $$

Gayle in MD
06-29-2007, 01:56 PM
That is all true, but forgive me if it doesn't compare to such things as secret meetings with Oil Executives, who have gouged the hell out of all of us for six years, and 10 to thirty billion dollars missing in the Iraq by way of Halliburton, Cheney's old chronies, and no bid contracts for other cronies, including Halliburton, in New Orleans, and lying and fixing intelligence to go to war, and then being completely irresponsible about how that war is prosecuted, and hiding the coffins of our fallen heros, and planting phoney journalists in the White House Presidential news conferences, and the entire Republican Congress refusing to exercise their Constitutional duty of oversight, during war time, and a White House that initiates Faith Based Initiatives, and then uses the money for their campaigns, and using secret e-mail accounts to get around the Hatch law, and the Executive responsibility of saving official papers, and secret prisons where people are raped and tortured, and an Attorney General who lies to the Congress, and man, I could go on and on....all I can say is, while out troops have been fighting for the safety of people who are blowing them up left and right, and al Qaeda is located in 90 countries, and bin Laden is still free, and our troops have not had proper training, rest, and equipment, I haven't heard a single one of the radical righties on her complaining once about these criminal, illegal, unconstitutional atrocities, not once. Even Dags, has joined the desenters. Yes, both parties are made up of politicians, and I don't like politicians, either. This President, and those who support him, however, have done more overall damage than any party, any administration, or any politicians in the history of this country.

To see some on here post with glee about a Democrat going to jail, yet never mention one single time any of these other Republican atrocities, and then accuse others of partisanship, is a bit much, particularly when over the last six years there have been many many more Republicans sent to jail, than Democrats.

We have lost over 3500 American troops in Iraq, Iraqis are corrupt, their Government, and their citizens, and the al Qaeda is a very small percentage of those who are killing our people, and yet this president calls the war in Iraq, which is a civil war, the center of the War On Terror. This is a complete lie, and Colin Powell, Major General Batiste, and many other foreign relations experts, say so, including Anthony Cordesman, of The Center For Strategic and International Studies. The Terrorists, exist way outside the boundaries of Iraq, in 90 countries. I am sick and tired of Americans cherry picking solely through partisan smut digging, when such dangerous, criminal lies and actions are completely ignored by the same people.

I said before we went into Iraq that it was stupid to think that Iraqis would embrace democracy. I think it is obvious, by now, or certainly should be, that they have not embraced democracy, nor will they ever, and I said that that all we would do is get rid on one despot, and install another. Going into Iraq, was Stupid! Just once, I'd like to hear one of these radical right wing Republicans on here admit it. I am against any political party, or president, who treats our troops in this manner. If Bush were a Democrat, I'd be saying the same damn things, and in fact, demonstrated againt Johnson once it became obvious to me he was sacrificing American lives, in a campaign that couldn't be won, and lying to the American People about it.

I don't feel sorry for anyone going to jail, if they break the law, Republicans, or Democrats. I get angry when the people who swear to protect the laws of this country, refuse to enforce or abide by them, and unfortunately, lately it seems most of them work on Capital Hill, but I also think it is somewhat of a cop out to say, well, if the Democrats were in powere they would all be going to jail, too. Every Congress is made up of a different blend of political figures, and if you can't see any difference between these Republicans, and those of other times, then I'm sorry, but you're just not paying attention. We are at a peak in corruption, which is unparrelled in our history, IMO.

Gayle in Md.

06-29-2007, 03:26 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> week of tearful pleading was covered like it was as important as Larry King grilling Paris Hilton. <hr /></blockquote>

Now you're just exagerating! Nothing could come close to matching the importance of Paris on Larry King!!!!!
/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Gayle in MD
06-30-2007, 05:54 AM
Bravo friend, well put. And, in our country of Separation Of Church And STate, did you ever think you'd see a Faith Based Office, in the White House? Did you ever think a President who had promised, No Nation Building, get re-elected? Did you ever think you'd see a President who campaigned against activist judges, fly back to Washington to take a State legislative decision, in favor of personal family rights, out of the hands of the State, and take emeergency Congressional action to put it into the Federal Court System? Same president, didn't have time to set his feet on the ground for a week, in the midst of our worst national disaster. Did you ever think that the office of the President would accuse the Congress of overreaching, when they exercised their Constitutional duty of oversight?
This country is in big trouble, and fortunately, I think many are waking up to that fact, and none too soon, IMO.

Gayle in Md.