Wednesday, October 26, 2005
On this day:

Siegelman, Schrushy indicted

A federal grand jury in Montgomery has indicted former Governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Schrushy on charges that include bribery and extortion. Two other men - former Siegelman chief of staff Paul Hamrick and former Siegelman DOT director Gary Mack Roberts - were also indicted. The AP reports:
The prosecutors said Siegelman and former chief of staff Paul Hamrick violated racketeering laws during his term from 1999 to 2003. The indictment, in part, alleges Scrushy made disguised payments totaling $500,000 to Siegelman to get appointed to a key state hospital regulatory board.

Former state Transportation Director Gary Mack Roberts also was charged with mail and wire fraud for his alleged role influencing agency actions on behalf of Siegelman...

The prosecutors noted that three others with ties to the Siegelman administration have pleaded guilty to public corruption charges in the alleged scheme — Nick Bailey, a former executive secretary and Cabinet head; Lanny Young, a former lobbyist and landfill developer; and Curtis Kirsch, a Montgomery architect who did work for the state during the Siegelman administration.

The indictment returned Wednesday alleges that Siegelman and Hamrick took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from Young to aid young's business interests, including awarding contracts to companies controlled by Young...

The indictment claims Scrushy made "two disguised payments" totaling $500,000 to Siegleman in exchange for Siegelman appointing the HealthSouth chief to the state's Certificate of Need Review Board, which decides on hospital expansions. Scrushy was charged with bribery and mail fraud in an indictment filed May 17 but kept under seal, the prosecutors said.
The indictment includes 30 counts. Here's more from WSFA-TV:
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office, Siegelman and Hamrick are accused of extortion. They allegedly threatened businesses in Alabama with harmful action by the DOT unless those businesses came up with the necessary cash.

Roberts is accused of influencing DOT actions on behalf of the former governor. He is charged with mail and wire fraud.

Scrushy is accused of making disguised payments of more than $500,000 to Siegelman in exchange for an appointment to a key state hospital regulatory board.
According to the WSFA broadcast, the four men are charged under the federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act.