In what he termed a “tragic, sad and puzzling” saga, U.S. District Judge James Spencer sentenced former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell to 12 months and one day in prison for using the office of her husband, former Gov. Bob McDonnell, to aid a dietary supplement impresario in exchange for $177,000 in luxury gifts, trips and loans, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Ms. McDonnell broke her public silence for the first time over the course of a two-year investigation, indictment and trial that ended with the couple's conviction on federal corruption charges.
She told the judge she was sorry for being the catalyst of a tawdry gift scandal that disgraced the state and devastated her family and marriage. “I am the one who opened the door, and I blame no one but myself,” said McDonnell, referring to Jonnie Williams Sr., the businessman-turned-immunized government witness whom the judge had previously described as a “serpent.” Bob McDonnell got a 24-month term. By adding a day to Maureen’s 12-month sentence, the judge made her eligible to qualify for time off for good behavior. That could reduce her incarceration to a little more than 10 months.