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Former Governor and First Lady Found Guilty of Corruption
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Former Governor and First Lady Found Guilty of Corruption

Summary: Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were found guilty on Thursday of numerous corruption charges. They now face up to twenty years in prison.

On Thursday, Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were both found guilty on corruption charges, the Huffington Post revealed. Of the thirteen charges the former governor faced, he was found guilty of eleven. Maureen was found guilty of nine of the thirteen. The fourteen-count federal indictment accused the couple of accepting in excess of $165,000 in gifts and loans from Jonnie R. Williams, Sr., the previous CEO of Star Scientific, Inc. Williams resigned on August 4. The gifts ranged from monetary loans to engraved Rolexes and fancy dinners.

  
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The McDonnells vehemently denied the accusations, stating that their marriage was in such shambles that they could not have coordinated together to use the governor’s office for their own personal gain. They stated that they were “barely on speaking terms.” Jeanine McDonnell Zubowsky, the oldest daughter of the couple, testified at the trial, stating that Maureen McDonnell felt “frustration, loneliness and anger sometimes” and had “barely any communication” with the former governor. She added that Maureen had a “mild obsession” with Jonnie Williams.

The trial lasted nearly a month at 27 days. The jury, comprised of seven men and five women, deliberated for 22 hours. The McDonnells sobbed as the verdict was announced. The McDonnells will be sentenced at another hearing on January 6 at 10:00 a.m.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring stated, “We have a long way to go to restore the public’s trust after this embarrassing and difficult period for the Commonwealth of Virginia. If there was somehow still any doubt, it should be crystal clear that the people of Virginia deserve real ethics reform that will turn off the spigot of gifts, tickets, and trips that opens the door to abuse and undermines public confidence in our government. That’s why on the day I was sworn in I implemented a strict gift ban and ethics policy for the Office of the Attorney General. It applies to me, my family, and employees and it says no gifts worth $25 or more, no more than $100 from any person in a year, and it doesn’t distinguish between tangible and intangible gifts. In the upcoming legislative session, I hope the General Assembly will move much closer to the gift bans that Governor McAuliffe and I have implemented.”

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The Huffington Post also noted that Henry Asbill, Bob McDonnell’s attorney, has vowed to appear the verdict. “I have no idea what the jury deliberated about. There are a lot of things about the case that (you) can sit back and think about but it’s hard to tell when the die was cast.” Asbill added that his client id not receive a fair trial because the prosecutors attempted to criminalize typical political behavior.

Photo credit: news.hamptonroads.com





 

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