NORFOLK, Va. - Former Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe took the stand in his own defense on Wednesday during is ongoing federal corruption trial and denied ever taking a bribe.
"I've never taken a bribe in my life," he said. "I've made mistakes, but I've never taken a bribe."
McCabe elected to take the stand despite being under no legal obligation to do so. He's charged with 11 federal counts and is accused of using his official role as sheriff to enrich himself.
McCabe testified he was personal friends with the former heads of two contractors at the jail, Correct Care Solutions and ABL Management Inc., and declared he's innocent of the charges.
He said he never accepted a bribe nor was he offered one.
"It's not in my DNA," he said.
McCabe contradicted the testimony of two government witnesses who alleged instances of corruption. He also flatly denied specific incidents took place, including one when one of the contractors said McCabe let him view the bids of a competing contractor.
McCabe did admit to making mistakes on campaign finance reports, including an incident where he had a friend put the friend's name on a blank check for $12,500 in order to conceal one of the contractors was donating to his political campaign.
He also said he was sloppy with the campaign paperwork and left out information about who had loaned his campaign money. He said if he was charged with campaign finance violations he would have to plead guilty.
He testified he had a drinking problem for a period but was adamant that did not lead him to accept bribes.
Once his attorney is done questioning him, McCabe will face cross-examination from the prosecution.