Siegelman and Scrushy Indicted on More Charges
Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and ousted HealthSouth Chairman Richard Scrushy have been indicted on additional corruption charges by a federal grand jury.
A federal grand jury on Monday indicted former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth Chairman Richard Scrushy on more charges in a political corruption case. The new indictment accuses Scrushy of paying off Siegelman for a seat on the state health regulatory board, and accuses both men of wielding improper influence over the board.
In October, the grand jury indicted Siegelman, Scrushy and two former members of Siegelman’s cabinet. Federal prosecutors said the charges stemmed from “a widespread racketeering conspiracy” in which state officials traded official actions for money and gifts. It charged Siegelman with racketeering, bribery, mail and wire fraud, extortion and obstruction of justice. Scrushy was charged with bribery and mail fraud.
The indictment claims Scrushy made “two disguised payments” totaling $500,000 to Siegelman in exchange for Siegelman appointing him to the state’s Certificate of Need Review Board, which decides on hospital expansions. The indictment also accuses Siegelman and Scrushy of making sure that when Scrushy left the board, he was replaced by another HealthSouth employee.
The sheer brazeness of these actions is striking. Undisguised quid pro quo bribery is almost unheard of at that level of government; usually, politicians just get campaign donations and the like in exchange for increased access and perceived influence.