A federal grand jury has indicted former Gov. Don Siegelman, ex-HealthSouth Chief Richard Scrushy and two others on charges in a "widespread racketeering conspiracy" that included bribery and extortion.
Federal prosecutors made the announcement Wednesday afternoon, saying Siegelman and former chief of staff Paul Hamrick violated racketeering laws during his term from 1999 to 2003.
The indictment alleges among other charges that then-HealthSouth chief Richard Scrushy made disguised payments totaling $500,000 to Siegelman to get appointed to a key state hospital regulatory board.
Former state Transportation Director Gary Mack Roberts also was charged with mail and wire fraud for his alleged role influencing agency actions on behalf of Siegelman.
The announcement was made simultaneously in Montgomery and Washington.
Siegelman said the long-running grand jury probe is a political witch hunt by Republican prosecutors trying to derail his current Democratic campaign for a second term.
Siegelman and Hamrick both said Wednesday that they're innocent and Siegelman said he has no plans to drop out of next year's race.