Siegelman moved out of Atlanta prison to undisclosed site
By Bob Johnson
Associated Press Writer
MONTGOMERY — Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman has been transferred out of the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, where he has been held since he was sentenced on June 28, and one of his attorneys said Wednesday his next stop is believed to be Texarkana, Texas,
A spokesman for the federal prison system, Mike Truman, said he could not say where Siegelman was going until after he arrives at the new site.
Siegelman's attorneys spent much of Wednesday trying to confirm reports on the Internet by Siegelman's supporters that he was being taken to the federal prison in Texarkana. It's a minimum security prison near the Texas-Arkansas line, about 420 miles from his Birmingham home.
They were pleased that he was no longer in the Atlanta lockup, but concerned he would be so far from his family if he does end up in Texarkana.
When he was moved
One of his attorneys, Susan James, said she believes Siegelman was taken from the Atlanta prison before dawn Wednesday and transported by plane to Oklahoma City, with his ultimate destination the prison in Texarkana, but she had not gotten confirmation.
Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy were convicted last year of bribery and related charges in a government corruption case. Siegelman was sentenced to more than seven years in prison and Scrushy to almost seven years. They have been sharing a cell at the Atlanta prison since they were sentenced two weeks ago.
Scrushy was still being held at the Atlanta prison Wednesday, Truman said.
Another attorney, David McDonald, met with Siegelman in the Atlanta prison Tuesday, where he said the former governor and Scrushy were being confined to a small cell 23 hours a day. He said he understood Siegelman was transferred either late Tuesday night or early Wednesday.
McDonald said he was pleased that Siegelman had been moved out of the maximum security Atlanta prison, but said he had hoped the former governor would be sent closer to his Birmingham home — possibly to federal facilities in Montgomery or Talladega.
"Anything is an improvement as far as his personal comfort goes," McDonald said.
He said Siegelman told him he wanted to be sent to a facility where he could be close to his wife, Lori, and his children.
"I was hoping he would go to a prison camp near his home. Texarkana is about as far from home as you can get," McDonald said.
Meanwhile, attorneys for Scrushy filed formal notice in federal court in Montgomery that their client is appealing his conviction to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Siegelman's attorneys had filed formal notice of appeal Monday.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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