MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A federal judge this afternoon sentenced former Gov. Don Siegelman to 78 months in prison.
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller handed down the sentence — 10 months less than the 88 months he originally gave Siegelman — after a day of emotional testimony during the former governor’s resentencing hearing. He also sentenced Siegelman to serve three years on supervised release and to pay a $50,000 fine.
Fuller said that, while he found Siegelman had done many good things in his life, his crime warranted returning him to prison.
A federal jury in 2006 convicted Siegelman of federal funds bribery on allegations that he sold a seat on a hospital regulatory board to former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy in exchange for $500,000 in donations to Siegelman’s 1999 referendum campaign to establish a state lottery.
Siegelman served nine months of an 88-month sentence before being released in March 2008 on an appeal bond. A federal appeals court tossed out two of the charges against him, which prompted today’s resentencing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin disputed that Siegelman had accepted responsibility.
“We are here to hold him accountable for what he did and what he did was to corrupt the office to which he had been elected,” Franklin told Fuller.
Franklin said what they were not seeing in court today was the Siegelman who went on the national media circuit “blaming everybody other than himself for what he did.”
“First it was the Canarys and Karl Rove,” Franklin said, describing how Siegelman once maintained the case was motivated by GOP desires to end his political career.
Five years ago Left Blogistan considered Don Siegelman a political prisoner, framed by a conspiracy led by Karl Rove. When the charges were filed Siegelman was the Democratic governor of Alabama. In 2006 he was convicted and sent to prison. The left was outraged. His story even made 60 minutes.
Siegelman got released pending an appeal in March of 2008. But in January 2009 a new administration took office. Eric Holder was appointed as Attorney General and he oversaw the government’s appellate fight.
Siegelman was originally convicted on seven counts. The appeals court threw out two of them. Yesterday he was resentenced on the remaining five.
Since then there has been nary a peep from Left Blogistan.