Siegelman

New York Times, Court to Rule on Freeing Don Siegelman, Ex-Governor of Alabama, Alan Blinder, Dec. 15, 2014. A federal judge said Monday that he expected to decide by the end of the week whether to order the release of Don E. Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama, as he again appeals corruption convictions that sent him to prison and became a flash point in this state’s political scene. The judge, Clay D. Land, laid out his plan after hearing about an hour of oral arguments from federal prosecutors and one of Mr. Siegelman’s lawyers. The former governor, dressed in a red jail jumpsuit and appearing much thinner than during his days in office, was brought to the courtroom here from a federal prison in Oakdale, La. Mr. Siegelman’s latest bid for freedom is something of an intermediate step in a case that has sporadically gripped the state for more than nine years. In court filings and again on Monday, Mr. Siegelman’s lawyers asked Judge Land to release him until the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit resolves his pending appeals, which hinge in part on claims of prosecutorial misconduct. The 11th Circuit, where Mr. Siegelman has amassed a mixed record since his conviction in 2006, is expected to consider the case next month. Gregory B. Craig, the former White House counsel who argued Mr. Siegelman’s case Monday, said he did not anticipate a quick end to the appeals process. “I think it’s very unlikely that the court of appeals will conclude this within six months,” said Mr. Craig, who argued that an “abundance of caution” dictated that Mr. Siegelman should not be jailed with an outstanding appeal that could make its way to the Supreme Court. But a prosecutor, John-Alex Romano, told Judge Land that Mr. Siegelman should be held because it was unlikely that the latest challenge would be successful. Mr. Siegelman, who left office in 2003, was indicted in 2005 and convicted the next year of charges that included bribery and honest services mail fraud. Mr. Siegelman was initially ordered to spend more than seven years in prison, a sentence that was later reduced on appeal by 10 months. 

AP via Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Scalia and Kagan praise each other at Ole Miss, Jeff Amy, Dec. 15, 2014. U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan were full of warm praise for each other Monday, saying that their common ground often overrides their ideological differences on the nation’s high court. “We have a really collegial court,” Kagan told an audience of about 900 people at a forum organized by the University of Mississippi School of Law. “Sometimes you like people you agree with and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you like people you disagree with and sometimes you don’t.” Scalia, as is his style, put a sharper point on it. “If you can’t disagree on the law without taking it personally, find another day job,” he said. “You shouldn’t be an appellate judge.”

 Terry Sewell

New York Times, Court to Rule on Freeing Don Siegelman, Ex-Governor of Alabama, Alan Blinder, Dec. 15, 2014. A federal judge said Monday that he expected to decide by the end of the week whether to order the release of Don E. Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama, as he again appeals corruption convictions that sent him to prison and became a flash point in this state’s political scene. The judge, Clay D. Land, laid out his plan after hearing about an hour of oral arguments from federal prosecutors and one of Mr. Siegelman’s lawyers. The former governor, dressed in a red jail jumpsuit and appearing much thinner than during his days in office, was brought to the courtroom here from a federal prison in Oakdale, La. Mr. Siegelman’s latest bid for freedom is something of an intermediate step in a case that has sporadically gripped the state for more than nine years. In court filings and again on Monday, Mr. Siegelman’s lawyers asked Judge Land to release him until the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit resolves his pending appeals, which hinge in part on claims of prosecutorial misconduct. The 11th Circuit, where Mr. Siegelman has amassed a mixed record since his conviction in 2006, is expected to consider the case next month. Gregory B. Craig, the former White House counsel who argued Mr. Siegelman’s case Monday, said he did not anticipate a quick end to the appeals process. “I think it’s very unlikely that the court of appeals will conclude this within six months,” said Mr. Craig, who argued that an “abundance of caution” dictated that Mr. Siegelman should not be jailed with an outstanding appeal that could make its way to the Supreme Court. But a prosecutor, John-Alex Romano, told Judge Land that Mr. Siegelman should be held because it was unlikely that the latest challenge would be successful. Mr. Siegelman, who left office in 2003, was indicted in 2005 and convicted the next year of charges that included bribery and honest services mail fraud. Mr. Siegelman was initially ordered to spend more than seven years in prison, a sentence that was later reduced on appeal by 10 months. 

AP via Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Scalia and Kagan praise each other at Ole Miss, Jeff Amy, Dec. 15, 2014. U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan were full of warm praise for each other Monday, saying that their common ground often overrides their ideological differences on the nation’s high court. “We have a really collegial court,” Kagan told an audience of about 900 people at a forum organized by the University of Mississippi School of Law. “Sometimes you like people you agree with and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you like people you disagree with and sometimes you don’t.” Scalia, as is his style, put a sharper point on it. “If you can’t disagree on the law without taking it personally, find another day job,” he said. “You shouldn’t be an appellate judge.”

Kagan and Scalia have built a relationship in part around hunting, with Scalia introducing her to guns. Kagan said during a talk at Princeton University in November that she and Scalia would come to Mississippi in December, in part, to hunt ducks.

Though Scalia, who has spoken frequently in Mississippi, sometimes talks about cases, Monday’s event, moderated by law school Associate Dean Jack Nowlin, steered away from questions about particular issues. Both Scalia and Kagan declined to answer a question about what they considered the court’s biggest mistake in recent years.

 

The rarely photographed Fuller is shown below in a photo by Phil Fleming, whom the judge invited into chambers to provide a portrait minutes after the jury verdict in 2006.

Mark FullerThe defendant is shown at right in a 2008 CBS 60 Minutes photo during a segment showing many irregularities in his prosecution.

Don Siegelman in prison

Bob Riley

Dana Siegelman

 
TamarahGrimes 
 

 

Related News Coverage Millions lost in Alabama gambling trial

Update:

 Karl RoveLeura Canary

Gary and Judy White

 

 the time of a Feb. 24, 2008 investigation of the case by CBS 60 Minutes, however, one of the nation’s most popular television programs Don SiegelmanKarl Rovewould inform the world that Beck and Fuller let the government witness Mark Fuller Phil FlemingBailey be coached and/or coerced by prosecutors up to

Shelby Country Sheriff Logo

70 times, without providing legally required details to the defense to enable pretrial preparations. Look for yourself at the show narrated by Scott Pelley,Did Ex-Alabama Governor Get A Raw Deal?

George Beck

A legal showdown of historic proportion unfolds Nov. 2 in an Alabama federal court. Squared off in Courtroom B4 beginning at 10 a.m. in Montgomery were the Obama Justice Department and its most important domestic defendant, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, once the leading Democrat in his state.

Siegelman wants the government to provide documents proving that Middle District U.S. Attorney Leura Canary really withdrew from the case, as she claimed. The government contends he is not entitled to confidential government documents. After five years Siegelman has finally won a hearing on a request for documents that are central to his 2006 convictions on corruption charges. Middle District U.S. Magistrate-Judge Charles S. Coody, sitting under the authority of the district's Chief Judge Mark E. Fuller, presides in the courthouse shown below.

Beyond that, Siegelman is in the rare position of having witnesses Frank Johnson Courthousestep forward with evidence that his prosecutors and trial judge framed him. Meanwhile, Siegelman has been tried and sentenced to a lengthy prison term in what our Justice Integrity Project, among others, has described as the nation's most notorious political prosecution in decades. Some of us have documented this many times, with both sources and official denials in the links below.

AL.com, Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman could soon be released from prison, Jim Stinson, Dec. 15, 2014. Looking thin and dressed in a reddish jumpsuit with a chain around his waist, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman appeared on Monday in U.S. District Court in Montgomery, asking for temporary release from prison as he awaits a new appeal. Siegelman, a Democrat, was convicted by a federal court in 2006 on bribery, conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges in connection for appointing former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to a place on a health planning board in return for a $500,000 donation to the governor's campaign for a statewide lottery. Scrushy also served prison time for the scheme, but was released in 2012. Siegelman is serving a 78-month term. Of that, he has served more than 35 months. Siegelman is to be released in 2017, but is seeking early release through appeal. As the appeal makes it way through federal court, Siegelman would like to be released temporarily while awaiting the appellate case resolution. Until U.S. Judge Clay Land rules later this week, Siegelman will await a decision while in the Montgomery County jail. He has been transported from a federal prison in Louisiana, where he is serving his sentence.

Project on Government Oversight (POGO), Justice Department Downplays Evidence of Politics in Probe of Governor, Adam Zagorin, Dec. 11, 2014. New evidence related to one of the most controversial public corruption cases in recent years, the 2006 conviction of Alabama’s former Democratic Governor, Donald E. Siegelman, indicates that Department of Justice prosecutors, who are supposed to ignore politics, were thinking and acting in partisan terms when they probed the governor’s administration. The same evidence illustrates a systemic problem at the Justice Department: When the Department investigates allegations of misconduct by its own prosecutors, it typically avoids transparency or public accountability. As a result, the public can be left with a question: Is the Justice Department whitewashing prosecutorial abuse? In 2002, during the Justice Department’s investigation of Siegelman’s administration, a federal prosecutor emailed the son and campaign manager of Siegelman’s principal Republican opponent updating him on the confidential probe, according to a Justice Department document obtained by the Project On Government Oversight and reported here for the first time. In the email, the prosecutor said he had been “thwarted” after starting an investigation “into the Siegelman administration.” He added that it was “frustrating for me and a small group of like minded conservative prosecutors” to “fight the tide in order to do the job we are sworn to do.” According to the document, an internal affairs unit at the Justice Department reviewed the email in the course of investigating whether various Department actions against Siegelman were “politically motivated.” The internal affairs unit, known as the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), determined that the prosecutor “should not have sent the e-mail. . .and that the fact he did so raised serious questions about his judgment, especially given his supervisory authority over public corruption cases.” However, as in many OPR cases reviewed by the Project On Government Oversight for a report published in March 2014, there seems to be a disconnect between facts uncovered in the investigation and the conclusions drawn by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog.

 

ixxx

 
 
 
 
 
Contact the author Andrew Kreig
 
 

 

Editor's Recommendations

 

Related News Coverage

AL.com, Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman could soon be released from prison, Jim Stinson, Dec. 15, 2014. Looking thin and dressed in a reddish jumpsuit with a chain around his waist, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman appeared on Monday in U.S. District Court in Montgomery, asking for temporary release from prison as he awaits a new appeal. Siegelman, a Democrat, was convicted by a federal court in 2006 on bribery, conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges in connection for appointing former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to a place on a health planning board in return for a $500,000 donation to the governor's campaign for a statewide lottery. Scrushy also served prison time for the scheme, but was released in 2012. Siegelman is serving a 78-month term. Of that, he has served more than 35 months. Siegelman is to be released in 2017, but is seeking early release through appeal. As the appeal makes it way through federal court, Siegelman would like to be released temporarily while awaiting the appellate case resolution. Until U.S. Judge Clay Land rules later this week, Siegelman will await a decision while in the Montgomery County jail. He has been transported from a federal prison in Louisiana, where he is serving his sentence.

Project on Government Oversight (POGO), Justice Department Downplays Evidence of Politics in Probe of Governor, Adam Zagorin, Dec. 11, 2014. New evidence related to one of the most controversial public corruption cases in recent years, the 2006 conviction of Alabama’s former Democratic Governor, Donald E. Siegelman, indicates that Department of Justice prosecutors, who are supposed to ignore politics, were thinking and acting in partisan terms when they probed the governor’s administration. The same evidence illustrates a systemic problem at the Justice Department: When the Department investigates allegations of misconduct by its own prosecutors, it typically avoids transparency or public accountability. As a result, the public can be left with a question: Is the Justice Department whitewashing prosecutorial abuse? In 2002, during the Justice Department’s investigation of Siegelman’s administration, a federal prosecutor emailed the son and campaign manager of Siegelman’s principal Republican opponent updating him on the confidential probe, according to a Justice Department document obtained by the Project On Government Oversight and reported here for the first time. In the email, the prosecutor said he had been “thwarted” after starting an investigation “into the Siegelman administration.” He added that it was “frustrating for me and a small group of like minded conservative prosecutors” to “fight the tide in order to do the job we are sworn to do.” According to the document, an internal affairs unit at the Justice Department reviewed the email in the course of investigating whether various Department actions against Siegelman were “politically motivated.” The internal affairs unit, known as the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), determined that the prosecutor “should not have sent the e-mail. . .and that the fact he did so raised serious questions about his judgment, especially given his supervisory authority over public corruption cases.” However, as in many OPR cases reviewed by the Project On Government Oversight for a report published in March 2014, there seems to be a disconnect between facts uncovered in the investigation and the conclusions drawn by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog.

 

Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues