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TUESDAY, APRIL 18, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Making deals, sweetening pot Scrushy business plan

Richard Scrushy is smarter than most folks; he's not attempting to make a confidential deal with God to keep him out of prison.

Instead, the former head and founder of HealthSouth has gone public with his plan to feed starving children in Africa and do other Samaritan-type good deeds. Naturally, he will be able to do more if he avoids a federal corruption conviction on charges he bought an appointment to a state hospital regulatory board from former Gov. Don Siegelman.

Mr. Scrushy's hoping that word he's helping expand Kingdom Builders International Ministries will play well in Montgomery, where he is set for trial next month, and where he had his wife, Leslie, began airing religious television programming.

"My wife and I have been called to this," he told the Associated Press recently.

Federal prosecutor Louis Franklin said the discredited financial genius is attempting to manipulate the potential jury that will hear his case May 1.

Mr. Siegelman and Mr. Scrushy say the indictments against them were politically motivated and that they are innocent. Guilt or innocence, of course, is for a jury to decide.

That, however, doesn't preclude anyone from suspecting the Scrushys of attempting to legally tamper with the jury pool. It's no coincidence that he's expanding the ministry and promising a Bible-based university, financial and health services on the eve of his trial.

The business plan already has a track record. He was ordained as a minister a month before his 2004 trial in which he was accused of defrauding Health South of $2.7 billion.

And you know how that one came out.

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