Archive for Friday, January 20, 2006

Writer: HealthSouth CEO paid for stories

January 20, 2006


— A writer who turned out a stream of sympathetic newspaper stories about former HealthSouth Corp. CEO Richard Scrushy during his fraud trial says Scrushy secretly paid her $11,000 through a public relations firm and typically read her articles before publication.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the PR firm wrote thousands of dollars in checks to Audry Lewis, whose freelance articles appeared in The Birmingham Times, a small but influential black newspaper.

Scrushy, acquitted in June of involvement in a $2.7 billion accounting fraud scheme at the chain of health clinics, strongly denied authorizing payments to Lewis.


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