himself was ordained last year as a nondenominational Christian minister.
ordeal as "two years of torture," Scrushy
asked: "What happened to the compassion in this world?"Scrushy
has contended that the accounting fraud was perpetrated by subordinates without his
acquittal, the company says he
will not be welcomed back as an executive.
U.S. Atty.Alice H. Martin, the chief prosecutor, shook hands with Scrushy in the courtroom after the verdicts and they exchanged brief words.
"We thought we had strong evidence with the testimony of five CFOs and ,audio, tapes in which Mr. Scrushy
indicated that he
knew all was not right with the financial reports," she
...In fact, Charles Russell, Scrushy's chief spokesman, was home in Colorado on Tuesday.
Several said Scrushy
, who did not take the witness stand during the trial, was a smart businessman who had no motive to lead a fraud at a company that he
"The smoking gun just wasn't there pointing to Mr. Scrushy
." Scrushy, who began his career as a respiratory therapist, became a philanthropist in the Birmingham area as his health services empire expanded.
But after the HealthSouth investigation began in early 2003, Scrushy's
public profile took on an increasingly religious cast.Long an evangelical Christian, he
church in the upscale suburbs and joined Bishop Lowe's Guiding Light congregation in Birmingham's blue-collar Roebuck section. He
wife began hosting a paid, half-hour morning prayer program on local TV.Their guests often included black clergy members.
Critics portrayed these efforts as a cynical attempt to influence Birmingham's large African American and evangelical Christian jury pool.The 12 jurors who acquitted Scrushy
included seven African Americans.
Jurors on Tuesday denied that race played a part in their verdicts.
"I don't know what part of Alabama you've been hanging out in," said Juror No. 300, a black man. "But where I work, there are several whites who hang out with blacks."
Prosecutors alleged that Scrushy
had induced subordinates to inflate HealthSouth's
reported earnings by $2.7 billion from 1996 to 2002 to meet Wall Street's increasingly rosy expectations.
has said he
hopes to return to the company he
founded, but HealthSouth's
new management said Tuesday that would not happen. "Under no circumstances will Mr. Scrushy be offered any position within the company by this management team or by this board of directors," HealthSouth Chairman Bob May said in a statement.
remains on the HealthSouth
board because, the company said, he
has refused "numerous" requests to resign.
Since removing Scrushy
as chief executive in March 2003, the board has been meeting without him.The other directors formed a special committee without Scrushy
and have been meeting in that context. Scrushy
can be removed from the board only by a vote of shareholders.Because the company has not been up to date with its financial filings, it has been unable to hold an annual meeting.Such a meeting is expected to be held next year. Scrushy
still faces civil fraud charges brought by the SEC
, seeking unspecified fines and restitution, as well as private lawsuits from HealthSouth shareholders.The company's stock, which traded at about $30 a share before being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange