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Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Sentenced To 24 Months In Federal Prison

January 6, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Sentenced To 24 Months In Federal Prison

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From possible Mitt Romney Vice Presidential running mate to convicted felon, Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison for taking bribes to promote a dietary supplement.

The sentence is seen as leaniant compared to the 10 years prosecutors initially wanted, but much more harsh than the community service his defense lawyers had argued for.

McDonnell told the judge before sentencing that he was “a heartbroken and humbled man” and that he holds himself accountable.

“I allowed my life to get way out of balance,” he said.

McDonnell’s family members and friends wept softly as the former governor  addressed U.S. District Judge James Spencer.

A jury found both McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of public corruption. In return for promoting a supposed miracle cure made by Star Scientific Inc. The couple accepted gifts including a $6,500 engraved Rolex watch, $20,000 in designer clothing and accessories, and free family vacations.

The company was run by businessman Jonnie Williams, who turned flipped and testified under immunity becoming the prosecution’s star witness in a case that shed light on the details of the McDonnells personal life including financial trouble as well as maritial problems.

During the trial, which lasted six weeks, the disgraced governor revealed he began working late just to avoid his wife’s angry outbursts and pleaded with her to work on their marriage, which was falling apart.

Defense attorneys even claimed Maureen McDonnell developed a “crush” on Williams and was largely to blame for the couple’s close relationship with Williams.

McDonnell admitted to accepting Williams’ “gifts” but maintains he did nothing for him in return, aside from showing a political courtesy. He was convicted of 11 counts of corruption.

“I’m 60 years old. Whatever days the Lord allows me, I dedicate anew to the service of others,” he said before sentencing.

McDonnell must report to prison by Feb. 9. His wife, who was convicted on eight counts, is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 20.

After his sentencing, McDonnell vowed to appeal his convictions and said: “I have never, ever betrayed my sacred oath of office.”

McDonnell is the first Virginia governor, and the 12th nationally, to be convicted of corruption, federal officials said, and it’s the first time both a governor and a first lady were both convicted of a crime.

 

The judge noted the outpouring of support for McDonnell, more than 400 people wrote letters on McDonnell’s behalf, the judge said “he is a good and decent man who has done a lot of good in the public area.”

“Unfortunately I cannot wash my hands like Pontius Pilate, It breaks my heart, but I have a duty I can’t avoid,” the judge said.

The public corruption case in Virginia prompted the General Assembly to tighten the state’s murky ethics laws, and some Virginia elected officials have voluntarily limited the value of gifts they will accept.

McDonnell, 60, delivered the 2010 Republican response to the State of the Union Address and became chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2011. He was indicted 10 days after leaving the office.

According to Fox News, McDonnell and other witnesses testified about the first lady’s erratic behavior, suggesting she was mostly responsible for the relationship that developed with Williams. They said she was prone to such angry outbursts that the Executive Mansion staff threatened a mass resignation. One acknowledged calling Maureen McDonnell “a nutbag.”

Several witnesses described Maureen McDonnell’s relationship with the wealthy vitamin executive as inappropriate and flirtatious. Nobody suggested the relationship was physical, and Williams testified that his dealings with the McDonnells were all business.

Williams said he spent freely on the McDonnells to secure meetings with administration officials and a launch event at the Executive Mansion for his tobacco-derived anti-inflammatory supplement Anatabloc as a treatment for ulcers, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and other maladies.

Source: Fox News

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