Reaction pours in to historic McDonnell guilty verdicts - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

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Reaction pours in to historic McDonnell guilty verdicts

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Reaction is beginning to pour in to a jury's guilty verdict on several counts in the McDonnell case.

A jury found former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell guilty on 11 counts and his wife, Maureen, guilty on eight counts in their federal corruption trial.

"I am deeply saddened by the events of the trial that ended in today's verdict, and the impact it has had on our Commonwealth's reputation for honesty and clean government," said Governor Terry McAuliffe. "Dorothy and I will continue to pray for the McDonnell family and for everyone who was affected by this trial." 

US Attorneys and the FBI praised the verdict saying the case sends an important message that the FBI will engage vigorously in any allegations of public corruption.

The former governor was found guilty on the first 11 counts of the indictment, including one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, three counts of honest services wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to obtaining property under color of official right and five counts of obtaining property under color of official right.

"All I can do right now is put my trust in the Lord," said the former governor as he left the courthouse through a throng of cameras.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL MCDONNELL COVERAGE: http://nbc12.com/mcdonnells

Maureen was found guilty of eight counts, including one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, two counts of honest services wire fraud, two counts of obtaining property under color of official right and one count of obstruction of official proceeding.

The couple will be sentenced on January 6.

The jurors left the courthouse without comment, except for one who said, "I want to go home."
They deliberated for around 16 hours before reaching a verdict.

Attorney General Mark Herring released a statement after the verdict renewing his call for ethics reform.

"We have a long way to go to restore the public's trust after this embarrassing and difficult period for the Commonwealth of Virginia," wrote Herring. "If there was somehow still any doubt, it should be crystal clear that the people of Virginia deserve real ethics reform that will turn off the spigot of gifts, tickets, and trips that opens the door to abuse and undermines public confidence in our government."

Even politicians on the other side of the aisle were sending prayers for the McDonnell family.

"This is a sad day for Virginia. I have known and worked with Bob McDonnell for more than 20 years, and my thoughts today are with Bob, Maureen, and their children," said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). "I urge all Virginians to keep the McDonnell family in their prayers."

The former first family faced 14 counts tied to their relationship with former Star Scientific, Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams. The indictment alleges the couple gave special favor to Williams in exchange for more than $177,000 in gifts and loans.

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