By Lynn R. Mitchell
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s sister Maureen McDonnell, who happens to have the same name as his wife, talked candidly with WAVY TV-10 reporter Andy Fox about her brother’s legal issues (see Bob McDonnell’s sister opens up about trial, conviction).
10 On Your Side met Maureen at her Virginia Beach home, where Bob McDonnell lives when he is in Virginia Beach. He also stays at the homes of his two daughters, and stays with his priest when he is in Richmond.
The interview began with what Maureen remembers about September 4, 2014. The McDonnells were praying as a family when word came that the jury was back.
“We actually were all on our knees at the time when the verdict came in,” she said. “We were at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, praying for each juror and praying for wisdom for those jurors.”
So, sister Maureen and brother Bob, along with the rest of the family, hurried back to the federal courthouse to hear what they thought would be a “not guilty” verdict.
“We all believed, our family believed, there was no way 12 people could find him guilty of these crimes. It was devastating,” Maureen said.
The verdicts were read: guilty, guilty, guilty, 11 times guilty.
“It was devastating, and we were all weeping. We were all in shock and disbelief for the first hours after the verdict came down,” Maureen said.
Many who knew the Governor as a kind and decent man were also devastated by the federal government’s pursuit of McDonnell and continue to show support, approaching him in public to express their unwavering belief in his innocence:
… Maureen talked about the support Bob gets in the community. “Strangers come up to him on the street, when he is at church, going to the grocery store, and they say ‘we believe in you, and we stand by you.’ ”
Read the entire interview here.