NORFOLK, Va. - On Monday just after 2 p.m., a jury of 12 started deliberating in the corruption case of former Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe.
"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."
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 say for decades, McCabe received lavish gifts from jail vendors who in exchange were awarded contracts.
"He obtained things of value not due to him or his office," said the prosecuting attorney.
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.
"It doesn't look good," McCabe admitted on the stand last week.
But he was steadfast that he never took bribes from jail vendors.
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.
Jerry Boyle and John Appleton, two men who provided services to the jail, were simply generous men, who gave gifts to everyone, said Broccoletti, and McCabe was no exception.
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.
He ended with the fact that the two vendors who allegedly took part in these bribes still have contracts at the jail despite McCabe's absence.
"My client would never sell his soul for ice sculptures and pounds of shrimp," said Broccoletti.
The 63-year-old McCabe is charged with multiple counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. The trial has been going on for three weeks, and each of the 11 counts he’s charged with carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.