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January 25, 2012

Ex-HealthSouth Chief Scrushy gets a year off prior sentence at resentencing

As detailed in this local report, a notable white-collar resentencing finished up in federal court in Alabama today. Here are the particulars from the start of the report:

U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller granted a request from Richard Scrushy for a reduced sentence Wednesday, taking a year off the time he was sentenced to serve after being convicted on bribery and corruption charges.

Fuller reduced Scrushy's sentence from 82 months to 70 months, saying he was moved by the former HealthSouth CEO's account of his life in prison -- especially the difficulty of being separated from his wife and children -- while noting his work in prison ministries. "You are a different person today than the one I met in 2005 (at the start of the case)," Fuller told Scrushy just prior to sentencing.  "You have paid a tremendous debt to society."

Scrushy's original release date was June 2013.  His attorney, Arthur Leach, said that Scrushy now qualifies for a halfway house, and could be released from federal prison in Beaumont, Texas within the next 30 to 60 days, depending on the availability of a bed. Scrushy would serve out his remaining time at a halfway house in the Houston area, about 84 miles west of Beaumont.  "What I really can't wait for is for him to be on the front porch of our house and watch our kids ride their bikes home from school," said Scrushy's wife, Leslie, after the hearing. "That's what I can't wait for."

Scrushy and former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman were convicted in 2006 on bribery and corruption charges related to donations Scrushy made to Siegelman's 1999 campaign for a state lottery.  Scrushy gave the campaign a $500,000 donation, split into two $250,000 checks.  Following the donations, Scrushy was appointed to the Certificate of Need board, which oversees hospital improvements.

Both men have appealed the ruling.  Siegelman, who was sentenced to just over seven years in prison, was released on an appeal bond in 2008.  Scrushy has been incarcerated since being sentenced by Fuller in June 2007.

January 25, 2012 at 05:24 PM | Permalink

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Comments

"he was moved by the former HealthSouth CEO's account of his life in prison -- especially the difficulty of being separated from his wife and children -- while noting his work in prison ministries."

Excuse me while I say BULL$HIT! Just another example of favoritism or politics. Probably still has the money he made from before he went in too.

Posted by: comment | Jan 25, 2012 7:55:56 PM

Interestingly, Scrushy's lawyer, Art Leach, is also his son-in-law. Leach was a long-time Assistant U.S. Attorney in Atlanta when Scrushy was indicted the first time. Leach resigned from the U.S. Attorney's Office to help run the defense, which resulted in an acquittal on all 26 Counts, one of the worst defeats the Dept. of Justice has ever suffered in such a high-profile case. Many believe that the second indictment (the case for which Scrushy is presently incarcerated)was vindictive and only brought because Scrushy had so embarrassed the DOJ in the first case. Scrushy has been blessed to have the help of such a talented lawyer, as witnessed by the most recent 12 month sentence reduction, which will send him directly to a halfway house.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Jan 25, 2012 8:29:10 PM

well actually speaking the fact he got less time should be a no brainer....the courts canned 2 of the charges he was convicted of and sentenced for the FIRST time!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 25, 2012 9:58:25 PM

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