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MONTGOMERY, Ala.– Lawyers for former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy will argue to a federal court jury Thursday that their client did not arrange for $500,000 in contributions to former Gov. Don Siegelman’s campaign for a statewide lottery as a payoff for an appointment to an influential hospital regulatory board. Jurors heard closing arguments Wednesday from attorneys for Siegelman, his former chief of staff Paul Hamrick and former state transportation director Mack Roberts, but court was adjourned before Scrushy’s attorneys got to present arguments. Jurors are expected to begin deliberations later Thursday. Siegelman was described by a prosecutor Wednesday as a greedy public official who received lavish gifts and campaign contributions from political insiders in exchange for preferential treatment on their business dealings with the state. But Siegelman’s defense attorney described him as a hardworking, loyal governor who spent much of his time luring new business into the state and did not pay attention to the activities of one of his closest aides, Nick Bailey, and a lobbyist, Lanny Young, who was bribing Bailey. “Governor Siegelman is innocent. He is also human. He has made mistakes,” said defense attorney Vince Kilborn. “His biggest mistake was he allowed people to get close to him who were dishonest and who took advantage of their positions.” His voice cracking at times, Kilborn gave an emotional closing, saying of Siegelman: “He has a good heart. He has tried to help the people of Alabama. He is a good man, a good husband and a good father.” Earlier, prosecutor Steve Feaga told jurors Siegelman operated a “pay to play” scheme during his years as governor and lieutenant governor from 1995 to 2003, with gifts and big campaign contributions given to grease deals with the state. Feaga told jurors that evidence showed the defendants took advantage of their positions to fill their own pockets or the veteran politician’s campaign war chest. “These defendants are guilty. There isn’t any doubt left in this room,” Feaga said. Defense attorneys for Hamrick and Roberts later began challenging the prosecution’s claims in what Kilborn called “the most important criminal case in Alabama history.” Charges against Siegelman and Hamrick include racketeering, conspiracy, bribery and obstruction of justice. Scrushy is charged with bribery and mail fraud and Roberts with mail fraud. Hamrick’s attorney, Jeff Deen, said the testimony of Young and Bailey � “two outlaws” � could not be believed and that Hamrick had little or no involvement in the schemes alleged by prosecutors. “You can’t find any evidence to connect him to any of it,” Deen said. Feaga said Siegelman and Hamrick were corrupted by the power of holding important positions in state government. “Over time Governor Siegelman and his chief of staff Paul Hamrick lost track of where the line was. They not only stepped over it, they rubbed it out, they went a mile beyond it,” Feaga said. Feaga defended the testimony of key witnesses in the case � Bailey, Young and toll bridge developer Jim Allen. Bailey and Young have testified about an “absolute agreement” that Siegelman and Hamrick had to provide government favors to Young in exchange for gifts and campaign contributions. Bailey also testified that Siegelman told him that he agreed to appoint Scrushy to the hospital regulatory board in exchange for Scrushy arranging for the lottery campaign contributions. But Kilborn told jurors they shouldn’t believe a word from Young and Bailey, who have pleaded guilty and await sentencing, or Allen, who was not indicted but implicated himself in the alleged bribery scheme. The defense contends Young and Bailey lied about the Siegelman administration to get lighter prison terms and that Allen lied to avoid being charged. “When you add all that up, that’s the government’s key case: Nick Bailey, Lanny Young and Jim Allen. If you don’t believe them, the government’s entire house of cards collapses,” Kilborn said. The defense has argued there were no witnesses to the meeting that Bailey said occurred between Siegelman and Scrushy, or to other schemes outlined in the government case. “Deals that have their origins in the bowels of hell often don’t have any witnesses,” Feaga said. Allen testified that Siegelman, when running for governor in 1998, said Allen could pick the state’s next highway director in return for a $40,000 campaign contribution. Roberts, who worked for Allen, ended up being picked for the job and prosecutors say he gave favorable treatment to projects that would financially benefit his former boss. But Roberts’ defense team said legislators wanted Roberts to run the highway department and Allen’s $40,000 contribution to Siegelman’s campaign had nothing to do with it. “Mack Roberts did not need Jim Allen to help him to be highway director,” said defense attorney Bill Baxley. Prosecutors say that Young provided a number of gifts to Siegelman and Hamrick, including helping Siegelman buy a motorcycle and giving Hamrick $25,000 to lease a luxury BMW automobile. “You tell me a man who gives you a free BMW to drive around for three years isn’t going to expect something from you,” Feaga said. But Hamrick’s attorney said the $25,000 was an act of generosity between two friends who borrowed money from each other. He said Young had lived rent-free in Hamrick’s house and that Hamrick, a lawyer, had done free legal work for Young. “Giving money for a car to a friend who helped you out over the years, there’s nothing illegal about that,” Deen said.

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