Former Virginia Governor, Wife’s Conviction Shook Richmond Residents

Katherine De Guzman – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Richmond, VA, United States (4E) – Former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnel and Maureen, his wife, have been sentenced as guilty of multiple corruption charges. This news shocked politicians, historians and even residents of Virginia.

Virginia is known for taking pride over its status of having a clean government. The conviction of the couple is said to be the first ever situation that a governor of Virginia was involved. The two were guilty of a total of 20 counts of corruption-related charges.

People have been concluding that the political leaders of Virginia might have done something related to corruption. Robert is the 71st governor of Virginia. He was eyeing a run for the presidential election but will be behind bars instead.

Clay Jenkinson, a renowned humanities scholar who is an expert on Thomas Jefferson, said in his radio program that he thinks Jefferson would be appalled about the news that happened in his own commonwealth.

He likened the situation to that of Illinois or Louisiana. Both Illinois and Louisiana have been making headlines regarding corruption often over the years.

Another Richmonder named Leroy Robinson, a chef in the state, said that as soon as he heard that the judges reached their verdict, he drove four miles to the courthouse just to hear what would become of the man he admired. He added that he has been a supporter of the governor because of what he did for the convicted felons. The former governor wanted to bring back the voting rights of the felons who already completed their sentences.

Also, other fellow Republicans expressed their thoughts. House Speaker William J. Howell from Stafford said in a statement that it is a sad day for Virginia but he will always be proud that he is a friend of the convicted governor.

Although Richmonders, politicians, and historians claim that Virginia has a clean government, Indiana University ranked it as the 34th most corrupt state out of the 50 states.

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