Don Siegelman, the former Alabama governor convicted of taking a bribe, is heading back to prison but won’t be spending as long there as he initially thought.
Siegelman saw his sentence for bribery charges reduced by nearly a year, Forbes reported. His 88-month sentence was reduced to 78 months, but the Democratic Siegelman will still have to serve three years of supervised release after he gets out of prison and will have to serve 500 hours of community services as well.
Don Siegelman was convicted in 2006 of making an arrangement with former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy in which Siegelman received $500,000 in campaign contributions in exchange for Scrushy receiving an appointment to a hospital regulatory board.
Scrushy also got five years in prison for his role in the bribe, though he was acquitted of further fraud with HealthSouth. Siegelman had been allowed to leave prison after serving nine months of his sentence while he appealed to the 11th Circuit of Appeals. The 11th Circuit court reversed Don Siegelman’s conviction on two charges of honest services fraud and had sent him back to get a new sentence.
At the sentencing Siegelman had character witnesses speak on his behalf, the Washington Post reported.
“The Don Siegelman that I know is not one who intentionally would do the things I’m hearing about,” said Sephira Shuttlesworth, one of witnesses Siegelman’s legal team called. ”The people I walk with love Don Siegelman.”
Don Siegelman also had others writing on his behalf, including former colleagues who sent letters to the judge asking that the former governor not be sent back to prison. The judge received 700 letters of support in all, including some who questioned whether campaign contributions even constituted bribes.
The ruling was seen as a disappointment for Don Siegelman and his supporters, The Birmingham News reported. Many had hoped the Democratic governor could avoid going back to prison.