[JURIST] The trial for former Alabama Governor Donald Siegelman [campaign website; official profile] and former HealthSouth [corporate website] CEO Richard Scrushy [JURIST news archive] begins Tuesday as the pair face federal bribery and racketeering charges [JURIST report]. Siegelman is accused of accepting bribes from contractors to award state work, and Scrushy allegedly paid $500,000 to pay off Siegelman's 1999 campaigning debts in exchange for Scrushy being appointed to a state-operated review board which regulates hospitals.
Siegelman has denied the charges against him, calling it a Republican conspiracy by current Alabama Governor Bob Riley [official website], whose wife is a US attorney, and said he wants the trial completed before the June 6 primary election as he hopes to win back the governor seat. Siegelman faced prior federal charges for conspiracy and fraud, but those were dropped [JURIST report] in 2004 by a federal judge. Scrushy was acquitted [JURIST report] of being involved in a $2.7 billion accounting fraud at his former company last year. Tuesday's New York Times has more.