Scrushy's Hometown Reacts to Not Guilty Verdict

Floyd Bowman
Floyd Bowman

In his Hometown of Selma, Richard Scrushy was the hometown boy who made it big. That's not to say the whole town stands behind him, but many who know him best are pleased with Tuesday's not guilty verdict.

"I was hoping it would come out like it did," said produce farmer Floyd Bowman, who has known the Scrushy family for years.

"I'm happy for the family," he says. "I wish his daddy could have seen this verdict."

Bowman used to hunt with Scrushy's father, Gerald. And he says Richard would stop by from time to time as well.

"He's always been nice to me, richard has," Bowman recalls.

He says during the trial, the father-son relationship was evident. Gerald Scrushy was in the courtroom for every witness and always stood by his son.

"He believed that everything was going to work out just like it did today," Bowman says.

But outside the library that bears Gerald Scrushy's name, other Selma residents weren't so sure.

"I don't trust that man," says Jeffrey Tomlinson. "He was staging a lot of things, I believe, to try to get support in the Birmingham community. I think it's all a front. I think the man is guilty."

"Every person should be held accountable for what they did," says Harvey Jackson. When asked if he thought Scrushy did wrong, he replied, "I know he did. The figures and records show it."

Back at the Bowman's, Floyd is just glad it's all over. When asked his opinion on Scrushy's guilt or innocence, he said that we may never know.

"To be honest, I cannot say. But I can honestly say he had one of the sweetest mommas and daddies that I have ever known," Bowman says.

Scrushy's father was also a big supporter of his son's company. Bowman says, when he broke his ankle once, he called Gerald Scrushy. The first word out of Scrushy's mouth was 'HealthSouth.'

Richard Scrushy has said he would like to return to HealthSouth one day. But the company has announced it has no intention of hiring him back. Scrushy is still the largest stock-holder, however, and could fight that decision.

Reporter: Mark Bullock