facebook
twitter
search
search

Court rejects Siegelman bribery case

June 4, 2012 at 12:02 PM

WASHINGTON, Conn., June 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court passed up a chance Monday to more clearly define the difference between a bribe and a political donation.

The rejected case involved former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, who was charged with bribery and sent to prison because a hospital executive -- HealthSouth Corp. founder Richard Scrushy -- gave him $500,000 in 1999 in exchange for appointing Scrushy to a state hospital planning board, prosecutors said.

The money went to promote a statewide referendum on a state lottery to support education, one of Seigelman's favorite projects, the Los Angeles Times reported. But prosecutors said any quid-pro-quo exchange is bribery, regardless of where the money goes.

The former governor wanted the high court to review whether a campaign contribution is a bribe if an official agrees to do something in return, or is it just normal politics when a politician does a favor for a supporter.

Though sentenced to seven years, Siegelman has been free on appeal.

The Supreme Court rejected the Siegelman and Scrushy cases in one-line orders without comment.

The report said legal uncertainty over campaign contributions also was at issue in the trial of former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. Charged with campaign-finance violations after two donors spent more than $900,000 helping hide his mistress, Edwards was acquitted Thursday on one count and a jury deadlocked on the remaining charges.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Germanwings pilot Lubitz buried quietly amid investigation
Islamic State beheads women for sorcery
Russia investigates legality of 1991 recognition of Baltic independence
South Korea fires warning shots at boat from North
Islamic State re-captures part of key Kurdish-held border town in Syria