Judge Steps Down from Siegelman Case

Birmingham, AL – U-S District Judge Lynwood Smith announced Wednesday he has stepped aside from handling criminal charges against former Governor Don Siegelman. U-S Attorney Alice Martin had recommended Judge Smith to step down because he attended some campaign events for his cousin, Governor Bob Riley, during the 2002 campaign. Martin says Smith's decision should eliminate any concerns about judicial and governmental ethics. However, one of Siegelman's attorneys, Jack Drake, says he saw no reason for Smith to leave the case. Drake says Smith is a well-respected judge who could have presided fairly over the case. A new judge will be selected tomorrow.