Former Va. Governor Bob McDonnell: “I have never ever betrayed my sacred oath of office”

Posted at 2:48 PM, Jan 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-06 23:33:27-05

Richmond, Va. - Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has been sentenced to 24 months in prison.

McDonnell's sentence will begin on February 9th, followed by two years of probation. He has asked the court to serve his time in Petersburg.

During the sentencing, McDonnell's attorneys called several character witnesses to testify, including former governor L. Douglas Wilder, family members, and former colleagues.

From WTKR's Ian Preston

McDonnell spoke outside the courtroom following the sentencing, thanking the court, Judge Spencer and his family.

“I want to thank the court and judge for the mercy he showed me today,” he said. "I also want to thank my family who have been unbelievably resolute."

McDonnell also expressed his disagreement with the verdict.

“I want to say that I disagree with the verdict that was rendered. We intend to file our appeal later today or in the morning,” he said. “I have never, ever betrayed my sacred oath of office.”

McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were convicted of numerous criminal charges in a six-week corruption trial ending in September.

The couple was found guilty of using their positions as the first family to promote Richmond businessman Jonnie Williams' tobacco-based diet supplement. In exchange, the couple and their children received cash, gifts, vacations, private-jet rides, golf outings and  undocumented loans.

"No one is above the law. Not a high-profile public official. Not the highest public official in the state. That's what this case was about," says Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney.

The former governor requested a new trial in October, but the request was denied in December.

Maureen is set to be sentenced on February 20th after being granted a delay.

A judge rejected McDonnell's request to do community service instead of prison. And the judge rejected the prosecution's request for six years behind bars. Instead, the judge settled on two years. The judge told McDonnell to report to prison in a month.

Judge lowers sentencing guidelines for Bob McDonnell

Jack Abramoff’s prison advice for Bob McDonnell