Sielgelman, Scrushy To Be Sentenced Tuesday

Judge Mark Fuller has denied the remaining defense motions, clearing the way for Tuesday’s sentencing.  I’ll just admit right here that I was one of the people who was furious that Richard Scrushy was acquitted in his HealthSouth fraud trial, and I was feeling the schadenfreude when he was tripped up in Montgomery.

That said, the sentences requested by the prosecutors — 30 years for Siegelman, 25 for Scrushy — are way out of line.  Siegelman in particular is not accused of receiving any personal benefit (which is more than I can say re: Scrushy and Healthsouth).  In any case, both men plan to appeal to the 11th Circuit Court after they are sentenced.

This prosecution may have been strictly on the up and up.  For a long time, I thought it was — although, as I said above, my judgment may have been colored just a bit by my intense disdain for Richard Scrushy and what he did to HealthSouth.  Now, in the wake of the US attorney scandals, there have been serious questions raised about the motivation behind the charges.  The Bush Justice Department has only itself to blame for that.

2 Responses to “Sielgelman, Scrushy To Be Sentenced Tuesday”

  1. Rev. Bob Richardson says:

    Siegelman’s popularity in Alabama has earned him the honor of being the only politician on record to have held the top four offices in Alabama: Governor (1999-2003); Lieutenant Governor (1995-99); Attorney General (1987-91); Secretary of State (1979-87).. In order for GOP candidates to win back top Alabama offices they recruited the help of Bill Canary and Karl Rove. Bill Canary worked with Rove in Alabama after they lost the 1992 Bush re-election campaign and Canary partnered with Rove in Alabama Republican state Supreme Court races beginning in 1994 and on Pryor’s campaign in 1998. (Bill Pryor was later appointed by Bush to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2004) In 1998 GOP Bill Pryor was elected Attorney General and Siegelman was elected governor.. Bill Pryor began having Democrats that held top state positions investigated. In March of 1999 Don Siegelman endorsed Al Gore and accompanied Gore on a campaign swing into Florida.. Gore’s opponent, George W. Bush’s campaign was directed by Karl Rove.. Bush was elected in 2000 and he appointed Karl Rove as his aid. In 2001 Bush appointed Leura Canary as U.S. Attorney in Montgomery, Al., the wife of William Canary.. It was more than coincidental that the court dates coincided with the last few weeks of the Siegelman’s Governors election. Elected officials of the GOP have spent millions of dollars of state and federal dollars to eliminate Don Siegelman. They want him out of politics and they want to set an example to deter democrats from running for office. There are three major Alabama newspapers which have big GOP affiliations; everything about Siegelman is deliberately worded to sound negative..“”” Beware that everybody that has lied to the FBI or in court, withheld evidence, conspired to convict/sentence this man might be taking the cell that was reserved for him if they don’t come forward and confess to the local FBI before they have to go before a Congressional Investigation.”””

  2. While every media outlet is reporting that HealthSouth’s founder, Richard Scrushy, was sentenced to six years and 10 months in Federal prison for bribery, there many looming questions that will likely be overshadowed by numerous shouts of judicial victory. As a high profile case, keep in mind that Scrushy was acquitted of a $2.7 billion accounting fraud trial in Birmingham. Following his acquittal, Scrushy proclaimed his innocence in the face of prosecutors who were none to happy.

    Immediately there were cheers of judicial joy shouted all over the internet. Scrushy finally got what he deserved stated one blog with no apology for the gleeful tone. It seems that people easily find joy in another’s trials. Funny, but focusing on another trials often keeps the focus off of our own issues and the pain of true human growth.

    I feel for Scrushy. I know what he has been through and I know what its like to walk into Federal prison. Although in Scrushy’s case he was immediately taken into custody – something rarely done in a white-collar crime case. Scrushy has exchanged a life of prestige and power to living in a place void of most worldly distractions. But, prisons are places where real personal changes can occur. Certainly, over then next five years or so, Mr. Scrushy will have time for meaningful self-evaluation.

    On a crisp October day in 1995, I took 23 physical steps… opened a door… and began a new experience that was life-changing. Thinking back 12 years ago, I would never have considered that I, a competent, well educated man, would be sitting in prison. That was a life educational experience where I learned, really for the first time, that there are consequences to every unethical choice we make. Though one might think that we can avoid the consequences, the reality is that they are unavoidable and certain. We just don’t know how or when we will face the inevitable.

    Prison time gave me the opportunity to focus on “choices.” Every choice has a consequence. The consequences are inescapable. They can be negative (prison for example) or positive and we, through the choices we make in life, control the outcome. Scrushy controlled this consequence he is now facing. He might have felt that he dodged the bullet when he avoided the first possible conviction, but the consequences of his unethical actions did yield a result.

    Today, Scrushy will wake up each day and be counted – known as a number – and will occupy his time working and reflecting. He will be denied the simple pleasures that we take for granted. And, he will learn to regret those choices that he will recall often – the choices in life that earned him this privilege.

    But, is there life following prison? Once again from personal experience I found the answer is yes! However, it is without doubt a function of the choices you make. Never forget, every choice has a consequence. We can make from the trials of life what we want. We all journey through life struggling to find some meaningful purpose to our earthly existence. Through this we all make choices and mistakes. From time to time we may receive help along the way and if we are really fortunate we might have the insight to “pay it forward” and help others.

    As a former CPA, through a series of bad choices or serious ethics lapses, I became a white-collar criminal. Now, I am a sales executive in a publicly held company (something highly unusual for a convicted felon) and an international motivational speaker. I now take the time to review my lessons from prison and write about those experiences so that others may gain benefit and perhaps learn from the experience of others. Some of us learn lessons the hard way. Yet, through sharing the experience of my incarceration and return to productivity, others have stated that they’ve been able to look at their choices in a different and more productive way.

    I learned a lot in prison. Mostly I became aware that success is not defined by our material possessions, but rather how we can help others. Through the Choices Foundation, which I founded, and my speaking and writing, I find today that helping others is a joy. People often ask, looking back, what I think about my time in prison. My response, “Best thing that ever happened to me.” While I won’t make the choices that would send me back (I didn’t like it that much), I gained great insight while there and know that there is life following prison.

    Perhaps, over time, Mr. Scrushy will learn through careful insight that following his time in prison he will emerge stronger and able to be a powerful voice of hope. Meanwhile, let us not forget that his family is experiencing pain, and perhaps we can remember them as they face new trials of their own.

Leave a Reply