Ex-HealthSouth CEO Scrushy Pleads Not Guilty

Fired HealthSouth Corp. (search) CEO Richard Scrushy (search) pleaded not guilty Friday to federal charges accusing him of participating in a government corruption scheme with former Gov. Don Siegelman (search).

A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted Scrushy on two counts of bribery and one of mail fraud. He is accused of providing $500,000 to Siegelman's unsuccessful 1999 campaign for a statewide lottery to benefit public education in return for an appointment to a state hospital regulatory board.

In court, Scrushy entered a plea of "absolutely not guilty," and outside the courtroom, he told reporters, "None of it is true." He said HealthSouth gave a $250,000 donation to the lottery campaign as part of its "civic duty."

On Thursday, Siegelman and two former Cabinet members indicted with him entered not guilty pleas to government corruption charges. No trial date has been set.

Scrushy's arraignment came four months after a federal court jury in Birmingham acquitted him of charges that he participated in a $2.7 billion fraud at the rehabilitation and medical-service company he founded.