Criminal Justice

Former Virginia governor sentenced to 2 years in corruption case

  • Print.

Convicted in September in a federal corruption case, former Virginia governor and attorney general Robert F. “Bob” McDonnell was sentenced on Tuesday to two years in prison, the New York Times reports.

His lawyers sought probation and 6,000 hours of community service in the Richmond case, in which McDonnell and his wife were convicted of essentially selling the influence of the governor’s office in exchange for loans, gifts and vacation perks. Prosecutors said the 60-year-old McDonnell should get at least 10 years. His wife, Maureen, is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

Tuesday’s sentencing hearing began with something of a win for the state’s former Republican leader: U.S. District Judge James Spencer held that sentencing guidelines for McDonnell called for a 6- to 8-year prison term, according to the Virginian-Pilot. The government had computed the guidelines as calling for a 10- to 12-year term. Spencer, however, had discretion to sentence McDonnell outside the guidelines, WVEC notes.

McDonnell is expected to appeal his conviction and will likely seek to postpone any prison term while that appeal is pending.

Former Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie Williams provided the financial benefits to the McDonnells. He got immunity for testifying against them at trial.

Earlier Associated Press, MSNBC, USA Today and Washington Post (reg. req.) stories provide additional details.

Related coverage: “Ex-governor of Virginia and wife found guilty on most counts in federal corruption case”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.