More than two years after HealthSouth Corp. dismissed chief executive Richard Scrushy in the wake of an accounting scandal, Scrushy will finally step down as a director of the company he founded.

Scrushy said that he plans to give up his seat before the company's end-of-year shareholder meeting, where HealthSouth insiders had planned to announce a list of new directors that didn't include Scrushy. Scrushy has maintained that his firing was improper and is still seeking the company's assistance with his legal bills, a claim that HealthSouth says is in the neighborhood of $25 million.

Scrushy still owns more than 3.7 million HealthSouth shares, and said that he plans to nominate some of his own directors at the meeting. He has remained on the board in name only throughout the scandal, as directors have regularly meet in a special committee that includes all members except Scrushy.

Earlier this week, a federal judge said that the Securities and Exchange Commission's civil trial against Scrushy would begin in April 2007. Scrushy was acquitted in late June on all of the three dozen counts he faced in connection with a $2.7 billion accounting scandal that inflated earnings at the health care company. The civil suit seeks $786 million in penalties and restitution, and would not allow Scrushy to serve as an officer or director at any public company if found guilty.

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