Skip to comments.Former governor now lives in small cell 23 hours a day (Don Siegelman, Democrat)
Posted on 07/10/2007 6:42:37 PM PDT by LdSentinal
AP) MONTGOMERY, Ala. Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, who once lived in the governor's mansion and crisscrossed the state on airplanes to announce new industries and meet with civic leaders, is now confined to a small prison cell 23 hours a day, with no way to even know what time of day it is.
One of his lawyers, David McDonald, visited the 61-year-old Siegelman at the federal penitentiary in Atlanta on Tuesday and said the former governor, after 12 nights in custody, has lost weight, doesn't like the food, but is in good spirits.
"He said he's being treated respectfully," McDonald said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press shortly after leaving the prison.
But he said it's not the life one would expect for a former governor who was one of the state's most successful politicians and who several times flew to Europe and the Far East to recruit industry to come to Alabama.
"He's locked in a small cell 23 hours a day. There's hardly room to walk around," McDonald said. "He said the food is not edible. He's lost 10 to 20 pounds."
Siegelman is sharing the cell with former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. McDonald said he did not see Scrushy when he met with Siegelman in an interview room at the prison Tuesday.
Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted last year on bribery and other charges in a government corruption case. U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller on June 28 sentenced Siegelman to more than seven years in prison and Scrushy to almost seven years and ordered both men to begin their sentences immediately. They were taken to the Atlanta facility that night to be processed into the federal prison system.
McDonald said he hopes Siegelman will be transferred to a minimum security facility or prison camp where he will have more room.
He said seeing Siegelman in prison was "truly, truly shocking."
"He was wearing orange pants, blue slippers and kind of a faded blue khaki type shirt. He pulled it off. He still looked dignified," McDonald said.
He said prison life is not easy for Siegelman and Scrushy, who eat their meals inside the cell and are allowed to leave it only for one hour a day, when they can pace up and down a narrow hallway. Siegelman is allowed to make one phone call a day usually to his wife, Lori. He said Lori has been to the prison to visit her husband several times.
"The conditions would be bad enough for a career criminal. It seems like overkill for someone like the governor," McDonald said.
He said the worst time of day for Siegelman, who has only one book a Bible in his prison cell, is after supper about 6 p.m. until lights out at about 10 p.m.
"All they can do is sit there," McDonald said. He said there are no clocks, no radio, no television and no way of knowing the time. He said Siegelman has spent much of his time doing push-ups, sit-ups and other exercises.
"He says that's about all he can do to keep from going crazy," McDonald said.
He said he and Siegelman spent much of their time Tuesday discussing a brief Siegelman's attorneys are planning to file probably within the next week asking that the former governor be let out of prison while his conviction is being appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Unless I just totally missed it, his party affiliation (Democrat) wasn’t mentioned in the article.
No mention of party. Therefore democrat.
Do I win anything?
Really let me cry. He broke the LAW and last time I checked when that occurs you go to PRISON! Boo freaking hoo.
Good to know that their focus is in the right place...
Atlanta Fed Pen is tough...wonder if they’ll be moved...
According to the MSM, only Republicans commit crimes. Really, I get tired of this biased nonsense, and tired of talking about it. The MSM isn’t going to do anything about it. Don’t buy their product.
Excuse me if I don't cry too many tears. "Politician" is just another word for carrier criminal.
i hear the chicoms have a merciful solution.
Siegelman was accused of trading government favors for campaign donations when he was governor from 1999 to 2003 and lieutenant governor from 1995 to 1999, and Scrushy was accused of arranging $500,000 in donations to Siegelman’s campaign for a state lottery in exchange for a seat on a state hospital regulatory board. (The campaign was in debt for that much, and Siegelman, because he had co-signed the loan, was personally responsible for the debt.) Prosecutors also “claimed Siegelman and his chief of staff, Paul Hamrick, received gifts, including a Honda motorcycle for the governor that he allegedly tried to conceal from investigators. Hamrick reportedly received $25,000 for a new luxury BMW automobile.” On June 29, 2006, a Federal jury found both Siegleman and Scrushy guilty on one count of bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud, four counts of honest services mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice.
After only 12 days? He must have been quite the pig before going to jail.
It COULD be worse. The Chinese executed today the former head of their FDA. Of course, his bribes cost numerous people to die, but you get the point!
One can only hope they've reserved a mini-suite and one of those stylish orange jumpsuits for Congressman William "Cool Dollar Bill" Jefferson.
Atlanta seems like really hard time for a non-violent criminal. Unusual that they’d room him with his co-defendant.
Is it customary for two individuals convicted in a criminal conspiracy to serve their sentence in the same cell as their co-conspirators?
After reading your post I can’t think of one politician who has not committed the same. Name one donation that did not result in some benefit. Politics as usual.
It’s especially obvious today, after reading about REPUBLICAN David Vitter all day.
Too bad journalistic standards are non-existent.
I checked the Fed Prison Locator and no record of former Gov being there...hmmm wonder if he really is there..?
Put a microphone in the cell, give them hours with nothing to do, and no telling where the conversation might go.
And yet, this guy's photo is STILL on the official website...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.