Siegelman, Scrushy want evidence for new trial

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2011

Attorneys for former Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy asked a court Wednesday to allow a discovery process to continue so that it might grant them new trials on bribery and obstruction of justice charges.

In a three-hour hearing before U.S. District Judge Charles S. Coody, attorneys for both men and the U.S. Justice Department argued over several issues. Much of the hearing involved arguments over then-U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, who recused herself from the case in 2002 because her husband, Bill, then president of the Business Council of Alabama, had worked as a consultant for Bob Riley, then a GOP gubernatorial candidate.

Riley narrowly defeated Siegelman, a Democrat, in the election later that year.

Attorneys for Siegelman and Scrushy argued that e-mails showing Canary making financial requests for the case and suggesting a possible “gag order” for Siegelman to U.S. attorneys in 2005 showed she had not distanced herself from the case. They are seeking documents from the U.S. government that, they argue, could help them press their case for a new trial.