Former Virginia governor to remain free pending appeal

Former Virginia governor to remain free pending appeal

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted [order, PDF] former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell’s emergency application to stay his mandated jailing while the court decides whether to hear his appeal. The order will keep McDonnell out of jail either until the Supreme Court rules in his favor, rules against him or denies certiorari. Had the Justices denied his petition, as the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit did [JURIST report], the former governor would have been assessed a date to report to jail by US District Judge James Spencer in Richmond [court website]. Instead, McDonnell, who was sentenced [affirming opinion, PDF] to two years in prison for corruption in office, will await word from the court, expected early next year. McDonnell’s wife Maureen was also convicted of corruption relating to the couple’s taking of loans, gifts and favors from a Richmond-based businessman looking for political favor. Maureen McDonnell was sentenced to a year and a day imprisonment and is awaiting a resolution of her appeal in the Fourth Circuit [official website].

In 2014 McDonnell and his wife were accused [USA Today report] of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, the CEO of Star Scientific Inc., in exchange for favors for and promotions of the company. During the trial [WP timeline] damning evidence was produced showing how the McDonnells frequently promoted the dietary supplements of Star Scientific. In September the McDonnells were found guilty of the 11 counts of corruption, and in January Bob McDonnell was sentenced to two years and Maureen received a sentence of one year and one day. Earlier this month an attorney for Bob McDonnell said he would appeal [JURIST report] the public corruption convictions to the Supreme Court after the Fourth Circuit refused to reconsider the case.