By Janeal Downs
Capital News Service
RICHMOND – Bob McDonnell was elected in a landslide and took office as the commonwealth’s 71st governor in January 2010. On Tuesday, just five years later, he was sentenced to prisonfor corruption. Here are key dates as McDonnell went from a rising star in the Republican Party to the first Virginia governor convicted of a felony.
Nov. 3, 2009: With the campaign slogan “Bob’s for Jobs,” McDonnell won 59 percent of the statewide vote in defeating Democrat Creigh Deeds in the gubernatorial race.
Jan. 16, 2010: McDonnell was inaugurated.
April 2011: Jonnie R. Williams Sr., CEO of Star Scientific Inc., paid for more than $15,000 of Maureen McDonnell’s items on a shopping trip. Star Scientific, now called Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, sold products such as a dietary supplement called Anatabloc.
May 2011: Williams wrote Maureen McDonnell a $50,000 check.
June 2011: Cailin McDonnell, one of the McDonnells’ daughters, got married at the Executive Mansion. Beforehand, Williams wrote a $15,000 check to cater the wedding. Maureen McDonnell told investigators the $50,000 and $15,000 checks were both loans. The same month, before her daughter’s wedding, Maureen McDonnell spoke at a meeting with doctors and investors in support of Anatabloc.
August 2011: Bob McDonnell and Williams met to discuss the use of Anatabloc as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Williams bought a $6,500 Rolex watch. The Executive Mansion hosted an event for Anatabloc.
December 2011:With “71st Governor of Virginia” engraved on the back, Maureen McDonnell gave her husband the Rolex watch Williams had purchased.
March 2012: Williams gave a $50,000 check to MoBo, a company formed by the former governor, his wife and his sister, also named Maureen.
February 2013: After being questioned by law enforcement officers about accepting gifts, Maureen McDonnell wrote a note to Williams implying that they had an agreement for her to return items he had purchased.
July 2013: Bob McDonnell apologized to the public and said he repaid $120,000 in loans to Williams. On Twitter, he wrote, “I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment certain members of my family and I brought upon my beloved Virginia and her citizens.” The governor said his daughter Cailin repaid Williams for the $15,000 spent on catering her wedding. He and his sons had also previously charged to Williams’ account while golfing.
Jan. 11, 2014: Bob McDonnell left office as Democrat Terry McAuliffe was inaugurated as governor.
Jan. 21, 2014: Bob and Maureen McDonnell were indicted on charges of illegally accepting gifts and loans from Williams.
July 28-29, 2014: The jury trial began. Bob McDonnell’s attorneys began to use marital problems as a defense. They said Maureen McDonnell had a “crush” on Williams, which resulted in the numerous expensive gifts he gave to the McDonnells.
Aug. 12, 2014: A cardiologist from Virginia Commonwealth University’s medical school said he went to a reception honoring Steven Spielberg, who directed the movie “Lincoln” in Virginia, at the Executive Mansion. The physician said Williams brought him to the event to try to persuade him to do research on Anatabloc.
Aug. 13, 2014: Testimony revealed that Bob and Maureen McDonnell had almost $75,000 of credit card debt when he took office and that the debt later grew to $90,000.
Aug. 20-21, 2014: Bob McDonnell testified that Maureen McDonnell had struggled with her role as first lady. He said the couple had marital issues.
Aug. 26, 2014: McDonnell said that he regretted accepting gifts from Williams but that he never promised any favors from his office for the gifts.
Sept. 4, 2014: Bob McDonnell was found guilty on 11 of 13 counts and Maureen McDonnell was found guilty on nine of 11 counts. (One of the counts against Maureen McDonnell was later thrown out.)
Jan. 6, 2015: U.S. District Judge James Spencer sentenced Bob McDonnell to two years in prison.
Feb. 20, 2015: Maureen McDonnell is scheduled to be sentenced.
This article was published by such CNS clients at Arlington Patch.