The top government witness in the 2006 federal conviction of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on corruption charges is providing new evidence that prosecutors failed to fulfill their legal obligation to provide the defense with all records documenting witness-coaching.
Former Siegelman aide Nick Bailey swears that prosecutors failed to reveal to the defense details of most of his two dozen prep sessions before he became the Bush Justice Department’s key witness that former HealthSouth chief executive Richard Scrushy bribed the former Democratic governor. Scrushy arranged $500,000 in donations to an education non-profit fostered by Siegelman to increase school funding. At trial, Bailey suggested the donations were required by Siegelman to reappoint Scrushy to a state regulatory board. The defendants, bolstered by legal experts and whistleblowers, claim that they were framed to eliminate Siegelman from politics.
Even more explosive than an alleged failure by prosecutors to comply with federal trial procedures is a sworn statement by Bailey’s current employer Luther “Stan” Pate, another Alabama businessman.
“Nick was told that the government was working to prevent the publicizing of an alleged sexual relationship between Nick and Don Siegelman,” Pate wrote. “Nick also told me that one of the agents working the Siegelman/Scrushy prosecution asked him whether he had ever taken illegal drugs with Governor Siegelman or had a sexual relationship with him. These comments had a dramatic effect on Nick, and, in my observation, added significantly to the pressure he felt to go along with whatever the prosecutors wanted him to say.”
Allegations of sexual blackmail by the government are among the evidentiary exhibits that support legal arguments by Scrushy and Siegelman seeking a new trial based on new evidence from whistleblowers and investigative reporters.