Siegelman Judge Receives Questionable Campaign Contributions

Birmingham, AL – The federal judge assigned to handle former Governor Don Siegelman's corruption trial apparently received campaign contributions from people related to the case. Campaign finance reports show that Judge Scott Coogler received the contributions when he was running for a state circuit judge position in Tuscaloosa County in 1998. President Bush appointed Coogler to serve as a federal judge last year. Siegelman, former chief of staff Paul Hamrick, and Tuscaloosa physician Phillip Bobo were indicted by a federal grand jury in Birmingham in May on charges of conspiring to rig bids on state medical contracts. Coogler received campaign contributions from a political action committee that received donations from Bobo, his business associates and others related to the case. Court officials selected Coogler at random last week to handle the case after the first two judges assigned to it withdrew.