Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:36 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:36:49 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundMore >>
Dozens of people have died after a second day of tornadoes twisted through Oklahoma, this time taking aim at the town of Moore, south of Oklahoma City.More >>
By CHRIS TALBOTT AP Music Writer Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist who was a founding member of The Doors, has died. He was 74.More >>
By CHRIS TALBOTT and HILLEL ITALIE AP Entertainment Writers Ray Manzarek, a founding member of the 1960s rock group The Doors whose versatile and often haunting keyboards complemented Jim Morrison's...More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:15 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:15:23 GMT
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51. Rescuers worked all night, with particular attentionMore >>
A medical examiner's office spokeswoman said 24 deceased victims from the Moore, OK, tornado had been transported to their Oklahoma City office. Seven of the dead were children.More >>
It was a rare moment in relations between the media and the government: In 2008, FBI Director Robert Mueller called the top editors at The New York Times and The Washington Post to apologize.More >>
It was a rare moment in relations between the media and the government: In 2008, FBI Director Robert Mueller called the top editors at The New York Times and The Washington Post to apologize because the bureau had improperly...More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:33 AM EDT2013-05-21 11:33:11 GMT
People affected by the massive tornado that killed at least 51 people and destroyed parts of Oklahoma still do not know where their loved ones are, but many of them are using social media to find out.More >>
People affected by the massive tornado that killed at least 51 people and destroyed parts of Oklahoma still do not know where their loved ones are, but many are using social media to find out.More >>
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
After a seven year ordeal, former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman has been sentenced to 78 months in prison for bribery, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. This is just 10 months shy of the original 88 months Siegelman was originally sentenced to serve. Also as part of his sentence he must pay a fine of $50,000. That fine has already been paid as part of his first sentence. After release Siegelman must also perform 500 hours of community service.
Siegelman will get credit for the time already served in prison, approximately 9 months, so he'll spend a total of 5 years and 9 months in federal lockup. He will also have 3 years of supervised release after the prison sentence is served.
Federal Judge Mark Fuller handed down the sentence Friday in Federal Court in Montgomery. During sentencing Fuller said, "I don't have any animosity towards you at all. My heart breaks for you, but today is the first day that I heard you say that you respected the system and accepted the verdict....it has taken you 21 years to understand that. And I find that difficult."
Attorney Susan James spoke to media outside the courthouse saying she had hoped for a lesser sentence, but her team put forth the best defense it could. Siegelman also addressed the media saying he and his family will go home, hold hands and pray. He said he couldn't think of a day in his life that was as difficult. He must surrender to begin his prison term on or before September 11, 2012.
Siegelman, 66, has been out of prison pending appeal for more than four years. He previously served about nine months of an original seven year sentence.
Siegelman and Richard Scrushy, former founder and CEO of HealthSouth, were convicted in 2006 after prosecutors said the two planned for Scrushy to contribute $500,000 to Siegelman's gubernatorial campaign in exchange for being appointed to a hospital regulatory board. Siegelman was also convicted on obstruction of justice charges for an alleged pay-for-play scheme with another Alabama businessman, Clayton "Lanny" Young.
"Today's sentence is another welcomed step toward closure to a dark chapter in Alabama politics," said acting U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin, Sr. "Former Governor Don Siegelman remains convicted for the serious felonious crimes he committed while serving as governor of Alabama."
The Justice Department set out to make an example of Siegelman to politicians around the country. "The Criminal Division's Public Integrity Section is determined to continue to vigorously pursue bribery cases involving federal, state and local officials," added Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.
Scrushy served about five years for his part and was recently released. Siegelman began his sentence but was released pending his appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his case.
The former governor said he never expected to see his more than 40 year career as a public servant end in a federal courtroom. He apologized to the people of Alabama for the embarrassment he said he's brought, and he even said he accepts that he was tried and found guilty by a jury of his peers. But Siegelman has never admitted to knowingly doing anything illegal. He told the judge that had he known he was close to the line where he was about to do something illegal, he would have taken a step back.
Once the face of the Alabama Democratic Party, Siegelman was elected on an education lottery platform, which voters ultimately struck down. The governor narrowly lost a re-election bid in 2002 to then U.S. Congressman Bob Riley, and failed amid legal troubles to even gain the Democratic nomination for a re-match in 2006.
The Alabama Democratic Party released a statement saying it was a sad day for the governor, pointing out that some convictions against him had been previously reversed and serious questions persist about standing convictions. "The Democratic Party of Alabama's thoughts and prayers are with Governor Siegelman and his family."
Siegelman will go to prison, but that's no guarantee the case is over. He has yet to make a decision on whether he'll appeal the re-sentencing.
You can read WSFA 12 News' blog of today's re-sentencing hearing here.