'Selective Prosecution' Probe of Siegelman Case

All through former Governor Don Siegelman's public corruption trial last year he claimed the Republicans in the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney's office in Montgomery were out to get him.

A former U.S. Attorney in Birmingham agrees.

Former Siegelman attorney Doug Jones says at one point the U.S. Attorney's office led him to believe prosecutors were relaxing their investigation of Siegelman.

Jones says, "We met with U.S. Attorneys in Montgomery. We were told at that time that they had written off most all of the charges that had been looked at for two years or more against Governor Siegelman."

However, it was almost a year later, with the bid-rigging hearing connected with Tuscaloosa physician Dr. Phillip Bobo, that the indictments against siegelman were thrown out.

Jones says the U.S. Attorney's office then went after Siegelman again.

"At that time we were told very specifically that they had had a meeting in Washington and that Washington had told them to go back and review the case top to bottom," Jones claims.

"That [meeting] didn't happen. The push came from my office at all times," says acting U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin.

Franklin says he only had contact with the Justice Department in Washington when he needed advice.

"I've never lost any sleep over this case. I know we did the right thing and I know we did it for the right reasons, and there was absolutely no partisan politics that played a role in this case," Franklin goes on to say.

That's not how Don Siegelman's attorney, Susan James, sees the conviction.

"There seems to be this over-riding concern with a lot of people, not just the Siegelman case, that there is an injustice that is rampant throughout the Justice Department with regard to selective prosecution."

If Congress thinks this was a case of selective prosecution defense attorneys are hoping for a new trial or for Siegleman's conviction to be dismissed.

Siegelman was convicted last year on federal bribery, conspiracy, mail fraud and obstruction of justice charges.