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Former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, left,  arrives at the federal courthouse in Montgomery on Monday with his wife, Leslie, and his attorney, Fred Helmsing.
AP Photo by Mickey Welsh
Former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, left, arrives at the federal courthouse in Montgomery on Monday with his wife, Leslie, and his attorney, Fred Helmsing.

Judge leaves Scrushy free, orders monitoring device

By Bob Johnson
Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY — Former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy can remain free until his sentencing on a federal bribery conviction, but must wear an electronic monitoring device if he travels outside Alabama, a federal judge ruled Monday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Coody denied a motion by prosecutors to revoke Scrushy's bond and send him to jail until he is sentenced. Prosecutor Steve Feaga told Coody that Scrushy should go to jail because he violated the terms of his parole when he took a yacht trip from West Palm Beach, Fla., to Miami while he was supposed to be on a vacation with his wife and five youngest children to Disney World in Orlando.

"He should be revoked and held until sentencing. We believe he is a flight risk," Feaga said.

Scrushy's attorney, Jim Parkman, told Coody the incident was a "misunderstanding" between his client and probation officers.

While Coody denied the request to send Scrushy to jail, he told him sternly that he "would not tolerate any future deviations from the requirements the court has placed on you."

Coody said he would modify the terms of Scrushy's release to require him to wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle and give the court a detailed itinerary if he travels outside the northern or middle federal court districts of Alabama, which covers much of north, central and southeast parts of the state.

Outside court, Scrushy said he thought the judge's decision was fair and called the incident "a simple misunderstanding."

Earlier, Scrushy took the stand during the dramatic one-day hearing and faced intense cross-examination from Feaga, who accused him of lying to probation officers. Scrushy denied Feaga's accusations that he might try to run if he was allowed to remain free.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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