RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A federal appeals court has upheld the public corruption conviction against former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell.
A three-judge panel of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the convictions on Friday.
McDonnell now has two options: appeal to full 15-judge panel at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals or go directly to the Supreme Court.
McDonnell released a statement Friday in response to the ruling, which said:
I am greatly disappointed with the Court’s decision today. During my nearly 40 years of public service, I have never violated my oath of office nor disregarded the law. I remain highly confident in the justice system and the grace of our God that full vindication will come in time. I remain very blessed to have the unwavering support of my family and great friends which continues to sustain me.”
McDonnell was allowed to remain free as his case was under consideration in the appeals process. He filed a “notice of appeal” in early March for the 11 counts of public corruption charges against him. In the appeal, he argued that his convictions were based on a definition of bribery that would make virtually every politician a criminal.
McDonnell was sentenced earlier this year to two years in prison. The former governor’s wife Maureen was also found guilty and sentenced to one year and one day behind bars after a jury in September 2014 found the couple guilty of accepting more than $165,000 in loans and gifts — including a Rolex watch and designer clothing — in exchange for promoting a nutritional supplement marketed as a miracle cure by Star Scientific Inc.
McDonnell and his wife have been free on bond while they appeal.
This is a breaking news update. Stay with 8News as we continue to update and follow this developing story.