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Former Alabama Governor Convicted of Corruption

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Former Governor Don Siegelman was convicted today on federal charges of bribery, conspiracy, mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

Former HealthSouth boss Richard Scrushy was also convicted of bribery, conspiracy and mail fraud on charges accusing him of buying a seat on a state board with $500,000 in campaign contributions.

Siegelman's former chief of staff, Paul Hamrick, and state transportation director, Mack Roberts, were acquitted on all charges.

The jury, once reporting it was deadlocked, returned the verdict on its eleventh day of deliberations.

Prosecutors spent six weeks attempting to paint a picture of a series of illegal activities during Siegelman's terms as governor and lieutenant governor from 1995 to 2003, with Hamrick joining him in a series of "pay to play" deals.

The trial marked the second time that prosecutors took Siegelman and Scrushy to court. Scrushy was acquitted last year on criminal charges in a multi billion dollar accounting fraud at the Birmingham-based company he founded. Siegelman and Hamrick went on trial in 2004 in Tuscaloosa in a Medicaid fraud case, but a federal judge dismissed the case.

At the center of the bribery case in Montgomery was lobbyist and landfill developer Lanny Young and former top Siegelman aide Nick Bailey, who testified about numerous bribes and paybacks under Siegelman. Both pleaded guilty in the probe, however, and the defense tried to undermine their credibility and argued they were lying to get lighter sentences.


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