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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Former Va. Gov.McDonnell Sentenced to 2 Years for Corruption


Prosecutors Had Sought 10 to 12 Years for Ex-Official’s Public-Corruption Conviction

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell hugs two of his daughters after being sentenced at a federal courthouse in Richmond, Va., on Tuesday.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell hugs two of his daughters after being sentenced at a federal courthouse in Richmond, Va., on Tuesday. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

By 
VALERIE BAUERLEIN

Updated Jan. 6, 2015 3:24 p.m. ET


RICHMOND, Va.—Former Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced to two years in federal prison Tuesday afternoon after being found guilty of accepting lavish gifts and loans in exchange for helping a wealthy donor’s business.

Mr. McDonnell, a one-time GOP presidential hopeful, had faced up to 12 years in prison for his September conviction on 11 counts, including conspiracy and fraud, related to his relationship with the former chief executive of a dietary-supplement business.

“I stand before you as a heart-broken and humble man,” Mr. McDonnell said, moments before District Court Judge James R. Spencer announced his sentence. “I hold myself fully accountable for my actions as governor.”


Mr. McDonnell had asked to be sentenced to three years of community service with a faith-based charity. A federal probation report recommended a sentence of 10 to 12 years, based on sentencing guidelines.

A dozen character witnesses, including former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat, said Tuesday that Mr. McDonnell was an honest man who had already lost his reputation and any political future.

“If Bob McDonnell were to get 50 years, he wouldn’t be any more punished,” Mr. Wilder said.

Judge Spencer said it was important, though, to impose a meaningful sentence. “The facts of this case cannot be ignored, by the investigators, the prosecutors, the jury or this court for that matter,” he said. “A price must be paid and that is some level of punishment.”

Mr. McDonnell’s lawyers asked that he be allowed to serve his prison term in Petersburg, nearest to his home. He is expected to report to prison on Feb. 9, though it isn’t clear whether that date might change as his lawyers have said he is appealing his case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Write to Valerie Bauerlein at valerie.bauerlein@wsj.com

RECENT SENTENCES FOR OFFICIALS CONVICTED OF PUBLIC CORRUPTION


  • Former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich, convicted on counts including honest-services fraud, extortion, and conspiracy to commit bribery; sentenced to 168 months
  • Former Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson, convicted on counts including honest-services fraud, bribery, and racketeering; sentenced to 156 months
  • Former Ill. Gov. George Ryan, convicted on racketeering and tax charges; sentenced to 78 months
  • Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, convicted of racketeering conspiracy involving extortion, bribery and fraud; sentenced to 336 months
  • Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, convicted of honest-services wire fraud and federal-program bribery; sentenced to 120 months
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