For about two years Mary Shea Sutherland worked as the chief of staff for the first lady but she says it was a stressful environment, made worse by a difficult Maureen McDonnell.
Sutherland spent much of the day describing her experience with Mrs. McDonnell…an experience she says started when she helped plan the governor’s inauguration…she tried to help the first lady find an inauguration dress…saying Maureen complained multiple times about not being able to get a dress from Williams.
Sutherland says at one point during shopping for the inauguration she had to use her credit card because Maureen’s had maxed out.
She says the first lady often yelled at her and other staff members….on two separate occasions Sutherland says the protective unit came in to check on her because Maureen’s yelling and screaming were so loud it could be heard through the walls..
Sutherland says by her second year things were getting more difficult…she started looking for other employment…says Williams offered her a job…she says she planned to go back to her old consulting firm and would line Williams up as a client.
She says Maureen approached her and asked if she was going after Williams, her voice quote “ratcheting up” as they talked…she says that’s when she knew she was going to quit.
Sutherland says that the governor had a meeting with her and asked her to stay to which she replied, “my gas tank is empty.” She eventually left in October.
More testimony is expected tomorrow in United States District Court in Richmond.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond