Chris Rizo Jun. 2, 2008, 5:55pm
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline)-A bipartisan group of 54 former state attorneys general have filed a brief with a federal appeals court in support of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.
The attorneys general said the federal government's prosecution of Siegelman, a Democrat, "raised serious First Amendment concerns."
The attorneys general are asking the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to overturn Siegelman's bribery conviction. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.
In late March, he was released on bond by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals pending his appeal.
Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy were convicted in 2006 of bribery, among other charges.
Federal prosecutors accused Siegelman of appointing Scrushy to a state regulatory board that oversees hospitals in exchange for Scrushy arranging for $500,000 in donations to Siegelman's campaign for a statewide lottery.
Siegelman was the governor of Alabama from 1999 to 2003. He served as the state's attorney general before being elected governor.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.