MONTGOMERY, Ala., July 9, 2007 -- Chief District Judge Mark Fuller on Monday issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting a motion filed by Siegelman's sentencing attorney Susan James which sought to correct the sentence and remove the restitution ordered of $181, 325 in relation to the Goat Hill construction project.
The probation officer in the case did not recommend the restitution sought by the government.
James argued in court documents that "The second superseding indictment on which Defendant Siegelman was tried and convicted reveals that the Governor was not convicted on the count relating to the G.H. Construction matter. In fact he was found not guilty." And, she argues in another document, "In the same relentless fashion seen at trial and sentencing the Government seeks more destruction on defendant Siegelman by requesting yet more. This Court should not fall victim to the Government's overreach at the risk of reversal."
Judge Fuller sided with the defendant in his order.
In a footnote the judge outlines the government's position and explains why he did not impose further time on the former governor.
Attorney Susan James still had not seen the order late Monday afternoon but says the significance of the $181,325 being gone is "that's $181,325 the governor will not have to pay. He was jointly and severably liable with Lanny Young and I don't think there was much chance that Lanny was going to pay his part. So that's $181,325 he doesn't have to worry about paying, but it's also significant to show the extent to which the government would go to try and be punitive. It was the judge that imposed it, but the government's objection and the request for more time I think is significant in that it reveals the extent to which they would go to be punitive..."