Judge sentences former Virginia Gov. McDonnell to two years for corruption

By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor | 1/7/2015

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison by a federal judge on Tuesday, Jan. 6. A jury found McDonnell guilty in September 2014 of trading political favors to a wealthy friend in exchange for gifts, vacations and loans. McDonnell’s wife, Maureen, was also found guilty and will be sentenced in February.

Judge James R. Spencer of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia could have handed down a steeper sentence but decided on two years. According to news reports, Judge Spencer said the whole case was “tragic from beginning to end.”

The case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Michael Dry. 

McDonnell was governor of Virginia from 2010 to 2014. During that time, he presided over a complete overhaul in how the commonwealth collects taxes on motor fuels.

In the summer of 2013, Virginia scrapped its traditional per-gallon fuel tax rates on gasoline and diesel fuel and replaced them with wholesale taxes.

The wholesale tax for truckers buying diesel was the equivalent of 20.2 cents per gallon in 2014 and will remain the same in 2015 according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

The wholesale tax on gasoline is equivalent to 11.1 cents per gallon in 2014 and will increase to 16.2 cents per gallon in 2015.

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