Former Gov. Don E. Siegelman of Alabama was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison yesterday evening by a federal judge in Montgomery for his part in a bribery scheme connected to his effort to establish a state lottery. Mr. Siegelman was also ordered to pay more than $200,000 in fines and restitution.
Mr. Siegelman, a Democrat elected in 1998, insisted that the prosecution was politically motivated, even connecting it to the White House through a lawyers’ affidavit that surfaced earlier this month.
But the judge, Mark Fuller, turned away the arguments of the former governor, who was convicted on bribery, conspiracy and mail fraud counts after a trial last year. Mr. Fuller said Mr. Siegelman had “damaged the public’s confidence in the government of this state,” according to The Associated Press. Still, the sentence he imposed was well under the 30 years recommended by prosecutors.
Mr. Siegelman was acquitted last year on 25 of 32 counts brought against him, but was convicted of taking $500,000 from the former HealthSouth chief executive Richard Scrushy, who was also convicted, and sentenced yesterday by Judge Fuller to just under seven years. In exchange for the money, prosecutors said, Mr. Scrushy received a seat on a state hospital licensing board.