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McDonnells Found Guilty on Corruption, Bribery and Conspiracy

Bob McDonnell, the 71st Governor of Virginia has been found guilty along with his wife Maureen of corruption, bribery and conspiracy. Bob McDonnell becomes the first elected governor in Virginia history to be convicted of any serious crime.

Two months ago he rejected a plea deal from prosecutors that would have let him plead guilty to one count of bank fraud and spare him and his wife of any jail time.

Longtime Virginia political analyst  Bob Holsworth says it’s the worst misjudgment he’s ever seen a politician make.

McDonnells Rejected Plea Deal That Could Have Kept Them Out of Prison

Convicted yesterday of multiple counts of corruption, bribery and conspiracy, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, both 60 years old, could face a maximum 30 years in federal prison.

Corruption convictions require mandatory minimum prison sentences though legal analyst Todd Stone says Judge James Spencer has leeway in their length. If Judge Spencer believes the Governor lied on the stand, that could aggravate his sentence.

McCain Campaigns For Gillespie In Norfolk

US Senator John McCain campaigned on behalf of Republican US Senate hopeful Ed Gillespie at a campaign event in Norfolk yesterday (9/4). The former Republican presidential nominee and Gillespie appeared at a rally at a Veterans of Foreign War meeting hall, where both criticized President Obama’s foreign policy and said that automatic spending cuts known as sequestration need to come to an end. While Gillespie says the military should not be immune from spending cuts, he said defense spending needs to be budgeted in accordance with national security priories.

Corruption and Conspiracy Hardest Charges for Government to Prove Against McDonnells

Federal prosecutors have a laundry list of evidence to support their charges of a corrupt quid pro quo conspiracy agreement between Bob and Maureen McDonnell and Jonnie Williams, though the vast majority of that evidence is circumstantial.

The defense strategy of limiting Governor McDonnell’s knowledge about his wife’s dealings with Jonnie Williams protects them both, because she was not an elected official, and therefore was free to accept as many gifts as she wanted.

Jurors Return for 1st Full Day of Deliberations in McDonnell Corruption Trial

Jurors return this morning for the first full day of deliberations in the corruption trial against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.

Prosecutors say former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams got special access to the Executive Mansion and public officials to advance his company's dietary supplement in exchange for $177,000 in gifts and loans to the McDonnells.

Defense attorneys say Williams got nothing unavailable to any other Virginia business.

Mayor Jones Calls For Tax Cut

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones is calling for the first reduction in the city’s real estate tax rate since 2007, from $1.20 to $1.19 per hundred dollars of assessed value. New revenue estimates show Richmond’s real estate assessments are up as well as an increasing new construction in the city. Jones says the tax cut will help the city attract and retain families and expand its taxable income.

AP Review Says Commission Chairman’s Family Business Got 21 Million

The Associated Press says that family members of the chairman of the so-called tobacco indemnification commission received a 21 million dollar economic development grant. The A.P. says the money went to a telephone cooperative run by family members of Terry Kilgore, a Republican state legislator and chairman of the Virginia Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, which controls about 600 million dollars from the national tobacco settlement.

Jury to Begin Deliberations Today in McDonnell Trial

Jurors begin deliberations this morning in the federal corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen. Jurors will rule on 14 corruption and bank fraud charges and one charge of obstruction of justice aimed exclusively at the former first lady. If found guilty the McDonnell’s could face decades in prison.

Prosecutors say the McDonnell’s sold out by granting Williams use of the executive mansion to promote his product and scheduling an ultimately unfruitful meeting between Williams and the Virginia Secretary of Health.

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