NORFOLK, Va. - Former Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe has been found guilty in his corruption case.
He was found guilty on all 11 charges on Tuesday around noon, and a judge revoked his bond, sending him to jail. According to original court documents, McCabe was charged with conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud, honest services mail fraud, conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right, obtaining property under color of official right, conspiracy to commit money laundering and criminal forfeiture.
The U.S. attorney provided News 3 with the following statement after the verdict:
As the evidence at trial demonstrated, former Sheriff McCabe brazenly abused his position of power as an elected official and accepted bribes to enrich himself in exchange for granting city contracts,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The jury’s guilty verdict on all counts sends a strong message that government officials who corrupt their oaths and betray the community’s trust will be held accountable in the Eastern District of Virginia. We are deeply grateful to trial team, our law enforcement partners, and the witnesses who came forward to help bring this defendant to justice on behalf of the citizens of Norfolk.
McCabe will be sentenced in January. He was booked into Western Tidewater Regional Jail just before 2 p.m. Tuesday.
News 3 reporter Brendan Ponton was in court all morning and reports McCabe is planning an appeal.
McCabe was taken into custody. He will be sentenced in January. His attorney said he’s planning to appeal https://t.co/yyHM6gzeoZ— Brendan Ponton (@brendanponton) August 24, 2021
It took jurors just about four hours to make their decision between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.
"It's a sad day for Bob. It's a sad day for his family," said James Broccoletti, McCabe's attorney.
The trial lasted for about three weeks.
"He resisted all efforts to cave and stood up for himself and pleaded not guilty. He told the jury he was not guilty. They disagreed with him. That's their decision. We don't agree, but we move forward," said Broccoletti.
On Monday, a jury of 12 started deliberating in the corruption case. For more than two hours during closing arguments, the prosecution painted a picture to the jury that they believe McCabe took part in a pay-to-play scheme. They said for decades, McCabe received lavish gifts from jail vendors who in exchange were awarded contracts.
"This is a case where a public official used his position of power to extract things of value from wealthy businessmen," the prosecution said to jurors Monday morning. "This is the face of green and public corruption, and it's textbook and not pretty."
Gambling, helicopter rides, ice sculptures, autographed guitars, high-end caterings, sporting events and more are what the prosecution believes McCabe obtained from men who had multi-million dollar contracts with the jail.
McCabe, who testified in his own defense last week, admitted to violating campaign finance laws and mishandling funds, including an incident where he had a friend put the friend's name on a blank check for $12,500 to conceal one of the contractors donating to his campaign.
McCabe's defense attorney, James Broccoletti, told the jury Monday that his client didn't have to take the stand and expose his life and career. Broccoletti said repeatedly, "Friends don't bribe friends," and said what the prosecution details are simply gifts between friends with no intent to defraud the citizens of Norfolk.
Broccoletti told the jury that for more than 30 years as a public servant, McCabe improved the jail drastically as well as the health of the inmates.
McCabe was transferred and booked into the Pamunkey Regional Jail at 5:14 p.m. Wednesday.
On January 14, 2022, Broccoletti filed a motion for a psychiatric evaluation ahead of McCabe's sentencing. A judge denied the motion a month later, saying the issue of competency or any other related issues were never raised during the trial and that when McCabe testified extensively and in detail, the court observed him to be competent.