Defense begins its case in trial of former Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe

Former Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe granted bond during first court appearance
Posted at 4:00 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 16:50:34-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Former Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe's defense team began calling its own witnesses Tuesday as his federal corruption trial enters its third week.

The first witness, Steve Loder, is the finance director for the Norfolk Sheriff's Office. He described how he worked with the contractors with whom McCabe is accused of having a corrupt relationship, Correct Care Solutions and ABL Management, Inc.

Loder described several instances when contract extensions were coming up with the companies and he reduced increases they asked for. He said Sheriff McCabe was aware. He testified McCabe "never once asked me to do anything for anyone."

During cross examination, Loder noted how contracts with the jail and RFPs did say the parties were not allowed to accept gifts.

McCabe's team has tried to explain all the gifts he received from ABL and CCS were personal gifts from friends, not bribes.

During the afternoon, a former sheriff's deputy described conditions at the jail before McCabe took over, saying the jail was a mess and a major safety hazard. The former deputy said McCabe really helped turn things around and made the staff more professional.

Related: Federal prosecutors rest their case in trial of former Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe

As the trial continues, it remains to be seen whether McCabe will take the stand in his own defense. His attorney did not give a clear answer to reporters on Tuesday.

The trial remains ongoing despite a second juror now being excused. The juror was told to quarantine over possible exposure to COVID-19, the judge said. Last week, another juror was sent home and later tested positive. Two alternate jurors remain.