From the article:
Seigelman served as Alabama’s lieutenant governor from 1995 to 1999 and governor from 1999 to 2003. But his political career came to an end as federal prosecutors in the Bush administration accused him of taking bribes. They eventually proved their case.
A jury convicted Siegelman in 2006 of doing political favors in exchange for campaign donations. Specifically, jurors found he gave a non-paying job on the state hospital regulatory board to a health care CEO who donated $500,000 towards Siegelman’s campaign for a state lottery fund for universal education.
He already served nine months of his sentence beginning in 2007. But he was allowed to go free the following year while his case was heard on appeal. The appeals court eventually threw out two of his charges, upheld his conviction on the rest and reduced his sentence.
Despite the rulings, Siegelman maintains he is anything but a criminal. He continues to press his oft-stated claims that he is the victim of a selective prosecution by the Bush administration because he was a threat to the establishment in the Republican-dominated state.
He still points to GOP connections to his case that for a time were tantalizing as possible evidence that Siegelman might have been another of the victims of the politicization of the Bush Justice Department — but which haven’t fully convinced the federal courts or the Obama Justice Department. There was a Republican lawyer named Dana Jill Simpson, who claimed a GOP strategist said on a conference call in 2002 that Karl Rove, the president’s deputy chief of staff at the time, talked about having the DOJ investigate Siegelman to get him out of the way. Then there was U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, whose husband was a Republican operative associated with Rove. She was recused from the case, but emails showed she continued to be involved in it.
“The people who have been keeping up with the case I think are certainly aware that there was sworn testimony that put Karl Rove at the center of this prosecution during the time that he was firing U.S. attorneys for not prosecuting Democrats,” Siegelman says from the road. “It was his best friend’s wife who brought this prosecution. There’s no doubt in my mind that this started out as a political dirty trick just to smear my name and hopefully it would lead to my defeat in the 2002 election.”