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Council Chooses New Leadership, School Board Re-elects Its

Richmond City Council has elected a new president and Vice President, and the Richmond School Board has re-elected its leadership team.

City council voted unanimously last night to elect 9th District Councilwoman Michelle Mosby as council President. She replaces 2nd District Councilman Charles Samuels and will be the first African American woman to lead the chamber.

Also by unanimous vote 3rd District Councilman Chris Hilbert was elected Vice President. He succeeds 6th District Councilwoman Ellen Robertson.

Legal Observers Ponder McDonnell Sentence

Federal prosecutors say former Governor Bob McDonnell should serve 10-12 years in prison. His defense attorneys are asking for 3 years of community service. But what is McDonnell likely to receive?

Legal Analyst Todd Stone says Judge James Spencer’s opinion of the former Governor’s sworn testimony is likely to be a key factor in sentencing. But that Spencer may show some mercy because of McDonnell’s age, starting a prison term at 60.

Assistant Dean of the George Mason School of Law, Richard Kelsey says community service is unlikely.

Bob McDonnell to be Sentenced

Former Governor Bob McDonnell will be sentenced today (Jan. 6) for 11 counts of corruption.

Defense attorneys are likely to voice their objections to the sentencing guideline calculations.  Judge James Spencer would then rule on whether he will decrease the range of those guidelines.

Family, friends and former colleagues may be given the opportunity to be called as character witnesses.

Spencer has discretion to deliver a sentence that falls short of these guidelines or exceeds them. He could also deliver a combination of prison time and community service.

Lawsuit Could Have Significant Impact on House of Delegates Districts

A lawsuit filed late last month in Federal District Court could have a significant impact on many of the House of Delegates districts and dramatically change the political makeup of the lower chamber.

The suit says that in 2011, the Republican-controlled House of Delegates racially gerrymandered 12 districts by packing them with 55% or more black voters.

Republicans currently hold a 68-seat supermajority in the 100-member house.

McDonnell to be Sentenced Tuesday

Former Governor Bob McDonnell will be sentenced tomorrow (1/6) for his eleven convictions on charges of corruption.

If the prosecution has their way, McDonnell could become the first Virginia governor sentenced to federal prison. They want him to spend 10-12 years there.

McDonnell’s lawyers are seeking 6,000 hours or roughly 3 years of community service.

Defense Attorneys have produced over 400 letters from family, elected leaders and supporters asking Judge James Spencer for leniency in sentencing the former governor.

Kinser and Felton Retire from Bench After Years of Service

Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Cynthia Kinser and Virginia Court of Appeals Chief Judge Walter Felton retire today after years of service on the bench.

Kinser was the first female chief justice in Virginia history. The justices of the Supreme court have elected Justice Donald Lemons to serve as the next Chief Justice. The Supreme Court will be down one justice until the legislature appoints Kinser’s successor.

The General Assembly never adjourned this year, preventing Governor Terry McAuliffe from making interim judicial appointments at various levels.

McAuliffe Restores Rights to 5,000 Felons

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced yesterday that his administration has restored civil and voting rights to over 5,113 ex offenders, more than any other Governor in a single year.

Virginia is one of the toughest states for rights restoration in the country, but Governor McAuliffe has streamlined the process, shortening the application from 13 pages to one.

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