AP NEWS

Aide: Alabama’s ex-gov Siegelman to be released from prison

February 7, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman has been told he will be released from federal prison to house arrest this week, a former aide said Monday.

Friend and former aide Chip Hill says the ex-governor was told he’ll be released to house arrest Wednesday. The 70-year-old Democrat, currently incarcerated in a federal prison in Oakdale, La, is nearing the end of a 6 and 1/2 sentence for bribery and obstruction of justice.

“Naturally, his family and many friends are very excited about his release and very much look forward to seeing him,” Hill said.

A federal jury in 2006 convicted Siegelman on charges that he sold a seat on a state regulatory board to HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy in exchange for $500,000 in donations to Siegelman’s signature political issue — his 1999 campaign to establish a state lottery. He was convicted on a separate obstruction of justice charge that he tried to hide money he received from a lobbyist.

Justin Long, a federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman, said he couldn’t confirm the account of Siegelman’s upcoming release.

The federal Bureau of Prisons lists the former governor’s projected release date as Aug. 8, 2017. However, he could be released sooner to house arrest or a halfway house. Siegelman told supporters in November that his earliest possible release date was Feb. 8.

Siegelman for decades was a dominating figure in Alabama politics, holding the offices of secretary of state, attorney general, lieutenant governor and governor. He served as Alabama’s governor from 1999 to 2003. He was the last Democrat to hold the position in the deeply red state.

Siegelman’s supporters unsuccessfully sought a presidential pardon for the former governor before President Barack Obama left office.