Could Bob McDonnell’s dropped charges impact the Norfolk City Treasurer’s corruption case?

Posted at 4:11 PM, Sep 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-13 23:56:17-04

NORFOLK, Va. - As one politician is relieved to have charges dropped against him, another still waits for his case to be heard in federal court.

Former Governor Bob McDonnell sat down with News 3 Monday, telling us he feels vindicated after prosecutors ruled not to retry his corruption case.

Norfolk City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot now waits for his political corruption case to be heard.

The cases against these two men are vastly different, but there are similarities between the two.

McDonnell tells News 3 he is relieved.

Federal prosecutors decided not to retry his corruption case last week after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out his 2014 conviction in June, saying the prosecution went too far in how they defined official acts.

Back in March, a judge ruled Norfolk City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot’s case would not be heard until after the Supreme Court ruling in the McDonnell’s case.

Burfoot's Attorney, Andrew Sacks, adamantly denies the allegations against Burfoot.

"The Supreme Court has made it much narrower in the McDonnell case and I think that's again reflected in the decision not to prosecute him and I think there will be some trickle down affect in the court room for Mr. Burfoot," said Sacks.

He also said there are big differences in the cases against the two politicians, but similarities as well.

“The similarities that are most important are the fact that it's the same laws, the same rules apply for the McDonnell case will apply to Mr. Burfoot's case,” said Sacks, “I think it's certainly a beneficial development for him.”

But not everyone agrees.

Former federal prosecutor and former Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Bryant thinks the facts in the case are too different and said there is a lot more evidence against Burfoot than McDonnell.

John Wesley Hill is part of the effort to recall Burfoot from his office as City Treasurer.

Hill said they have 6,500 signatures so far.

The recall case won’t be heard until after Burfoot’s criminal trial. Hill says they are different issues.

“The recall really has nothing to do with the federal trial recall. What the recall is based on the way the citizens feel, what is happening in the office,” but Hill said, “The federal government has a good case.”

Burfoot is facing eight charges of perjury and political corruption charges from when he was a Councilman.

He’s accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks.

The federal government is accusing him of using his position as a city official to make business deals.

McDonnell was accused of using his official role as governor to promote the company of a wealthy businessman. In exchange, prosecutors said he got thousands of dollars in gifts and loans, but those charges now are dropped.

Sacks said he doesn’t know how the McDonnell case will impact Burfoot’s but said, “It's hard to say exactly yet. I don't think it means that the prosecutors going to drop the prosecution against Mr. Burfoot. It certainly doesn't hurt us and in certain ways, I think, it has some benefits.”

Burfoot has a motions hearing on October 12 and the criminal trial is expected to start November 7.