Former AL gov. remains in Montgomery awaiting release decision - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Former AL gov. remains in Montgomery awaiting release decision

Siegelman was convicted in 2006 on bribery and other charges. (Source: WAFF file) Siegelman was convicted in 2006 on bribery and other charges. (Source: WAFF file)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WAFF) -

A Federal judge will decide by the end of the week whether he'll release former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman from behind bars as he appeals his conviction.

The Montgomery judge will decide whether Sieglman will be out of jail before Christmas after taking the request under advisement at Monday's hearing.

Sieglman is appealing his 2006 bribery conviction. Cameras were not allowed inside the Montgomery Federal Courthouse, and the media didn't get an opportunity to see Siegelman before or after the hearing. His wife and son were both in court. 

Siegleman was convicted on bribery charges nearly a decade ago after selling a spot on a hospital regulatory board for campaign donations. He's faced numerous court delays, including a new judge appointed to the matter after U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller was arrested in August on domestic violence charges. 

The former governor's attorneys want his release from prison until the 11th Circuit Court rules on his appeal. He's serving time in a federal prison in Louisiana, but will stay in a Montgomery jail cell as he awaits the judge's decision. 

Several Siegelman supporters spoke to reporters before Monday's hearing - one even reading a letter he said Siegelman wrote him in prison.

"'Justice delayed in a real sense is justice denied. I really think this matter needs to come to a head and be resolved.'" read supporter Ed Gentle. "We're here to let Governor Siegelman know that we've got his back."

Siegelman's family said nothing as they exited the courtroom Monday. However, former campaign manager Chip Hill had plenty to say.

"The governor... told us he weighed 186 pounds now, which is about 20 pounds lighter than the last time we saw him," said Hill, a close friend of Siegelman. He and other supporters visited the former governor before the hearing.

"The governor is down," Hill said. "But I think a lot of that had to do with the fact he was very tired after the journey it took to get here."

Hill added he feels the only thing Siegelman's camp has to do is show the prosecutor had a conflict of interest.

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