Maureen McDonnell, the former First Lady of Virginia, was sentenced on Friday to one year and one day in prison. McDonnell and her husband, former governor Bob McDonnell, had previously been convicted on public-corruption charges stemming from an elaborate set of bribes and resultant favors for a nutritional-supplement company.
The former governor was previously sentenced to two years in prison, and is appealing his convictions. Bob McDonnell was found guilty on 11 counts; the First Lady was convicted on eight counts. Both are free on bond as they work through their appeals.
“How can a person become so bedazzled by material possessions that she can no longer see the difference between what's appropriate and inappropriate,” asked U.S. District Judge James Spencer as he sentenced the former First Lady.
McDonnell apologized and asked for leniency, imploring Spencer to “consider the punishment I've already received.”
“My marriage is broken, my family is hurting and my reputation is in shatters,” McDonnell said. Spencer didn’t seem too convinced, noting that McDonnell “belittled and terrorized employees,” though he also characterized her as a caring mother and wife. Those close to McDonnell have said the former First Lady has grown withdrawn, and seldom leaves her house.