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Ex-Governor Leaves Prison on Bond

Associated Press
Saturday, March 29, 2008

OAKDALE, La., March 28 -- Former Alabama governor Don Siegelman (D) left a federal prison on appeal bond Friday, saying that he remained upbeat as he headed back to his Birmingham home after nine months in custody.

"I may have lost my freedom for a while, but I never lost faith," Siegelman told reporters.

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Siegelman should be released while he appeals his conviction. The ruling came the same day that the House Judiciary Committee announced plans for Siegelman to testify before Congress in a probe of possible political meddling in federal prosecutions.

Siegelman and former HealthSouth chief executive Richard Scrushy were convicted in June 2006. Federal prosecutors accused Siegelman, who was sentenced to more than seven years, of appointing Scrushy to a hospital regulatory board in exchange for Scrushy arranging $500,000 in contributions to Siegelman's campaign for a statewide lottery. The defense has argued there was no personal gain or quid pro quo in the deal.

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