HealthSouth Corp. Tuesday welcomed the resignation of former Chief Executive Richard Scrushy from its board of directors, a move the company had long been calling for.
Scrushy, who founded Birmingham, Alabama-based HealthSouth and was ousted as chairman and CEO in 2003 after being accused of directing a multibillion-dollar accounting scandal, announced his resignation from the board through a letter released by one of his attorneys Monday.
“We feel this is an appropriate and long overdue decision as HealthSouth has repeatedly asked for Mr. Scrushy’s resignation,” HealthSouth spokesman Andrew Brimmer said.
“With the upcoming meeting of shareholders to elect new directors, we are pleased Mr. Scrushy has complied with numerous requests to resign from the board,” Brimmer added.
Scrushy in June was found not guilty by a Birmingham jury of all criminal charges related to years of bogus accounting and fraudulent financial reporting at the health-care company.
He still faces civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission in a trial not scheduled to begin until April 2007.
HealthSouth executives have consistently ignored Scrushy’s repeated calls to be treated as a board member in good standing, and Scrushy cited that treatment among his reasons for finally tendering his resignation.
In his letter of resignation, Scrushy said the company has denied him all of the powers, authority, duties and responsibilities usually attached to the position of director.
Scrushy also repeated his charge that the company had no right to fire him under the terms of his employment agreement.
“We continue to maintain our position that his employment contracts are null and void,” HealthSouth’s Brimmer said.