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Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell Sentenced To Two Years For Corruption

Politics Tribune News Service

Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell Sentenced To Two Years For Corruption

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By Timothy M. Phelps, Tribune Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer to two years in prison Tuesday for accepting dozens of gifts and loans from a businessman intent on getting help from the state for a line of questionable health supplements.

Prosecutors had asked Spencer for a sentence of ten to 12 years, while defense lawyers, citing McDonnell’s many years of service to Virginia, asked that he be sentenced to community service with no jail time.

McDonnell was the first Virginia governor to be charged with a serious crime, and, barring a successful appeal, will be the first to go to jail.

In September, a jury found McDonnell guilty of 11 public corruption charges involving $177,000 in gifts or loans from Florida health supplement salesman Jonnie R. Williams to him, his wife and his children. They included golf clubs, vacations, the use of a boat and a Ferrari, and $25,000 in wedding presents for two of their daughters.

McDonnell’s wife, Maureen, who had a close friendship with Williams, was also convicted in the case. She is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

The McDonnells have been living mostly apart since before the trial, and part of their defense was that they could not have conspired together to defraud the state because their marriage was irreparably broken. The jury, which was shown pictures of the couple holding hands on their way to pretrial hearings, didn’t buy it.

The trial appears to have divided the McDonnell family, which includes five children. One of their daughters, Jeanine McDonnell Zubowsky, a former U.S. Army officer in Iraq, wrote Spencer to say that he should go easy on her father because what happened was mostly her mother’s fault.

The case was unusual in many ways, with weeks of tawdry testimony about the McDonnells accepting one gift after another from Williams. Lawyers for both of the McDonnells emphasized the bad marriage and Maureen McDonnell’s’ emotional problems and difficulty adjusting to the role of the state’s first lady.

McDonnell was governor from 2010 to 2014. Before that he was the state’s attorney general and a member of the state House of Delegates.
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(The Daily Press newspaper in Newport News, Va., contributed to this report.)

AFP Photo/Alex Wong

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4 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila January 7, 2015

    Good riddance. Unfortunately, I doubt Rep. Scalise, the Republican Whip in the House is still in office and will probably remain there until the end of his term. If the re-election of Florida Gov. Scott is an example of how Republicans react to corruption, I would not be surprised if Scalise is re-elected by a landslide.

    Reply
    1. Blueberry Hill March 26, 2015

      Yes, strange how the lunatics are drawn to the crooks. Crooks shouldn’t even be allowed to run for office. No wonder there is such corruption in Congress, they are already corrupt when they get there, and just add to it.

      ..

      Reply
  2. Robert January 7, 2015

    This moron get two years at the local federal country club. The damned judge who sentenced him should have to serve the rest of what he should have gotten, which is about 10 years. We might as well open our eyes and come to the realization that this country doesn’t exist anymore. It is owned by the wealthy and big corporation who will protect their own. They also won’t stop until they have all that the rest of us own. It has become a monopoly game to them, they play it until one owns everything.

    Reply
  3. Blueberry Hill March 26, 2015

    I find it curious and furious that the Dem in Illinois got 14 years (Blagoyovich sp?) and republicans get 2 years or less. This lunatic was even guilty of more than the Dem. Even the justice system stinks any more, what there is of it.

    ..

    Reply

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