As of September 4, 2014 all of that hard work has all come crashing down as both McDonnell and his wife (not sentenced yet) were found guilty on corruption charges. Yesterday McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison by a federal judge.
The 11 charges that put McDonnell in the stripy hole were related to his accepting roughly $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams to promote his vitamin supplement company.
No, really... Vitamins. I'm not kidding.
Prosecutors had wanted McDonnell to spend more than 10 years in prison, but U.S. District Judge James Spencer had different ideas. Even after stating that he could not set aside the jury's verdict, Spencer said...
"A price must be paid. Unlike Pontius Pilate, I can't wash my hands of it all. A meaningful sentence must be imposed."
...Then despite his ominous words proceeded to impose a sentence much more lenient than was anticipated based on McDonnell's crimes.
So even though U.S. Probation Office officials had calculated that McDonnell's sentence should be 12 years behind bars the Reagan appointed judge saw fit to impose a sentence of one sixth of that.
In light of such a lenient sentence McDonnell's lawyers plan to appeal the conviction.