RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Lawyers for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell asked a judge Tuesday to spare him prison, calling his bribery conviction "a total aberration."
In a sentencing memorandum to U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer, lawyers suggested a combination of probation and 6,000 hours of "full-time, rigorous, unpaid" community service over three years.
"Bob McDonnell has devoted his life to public service, family, and faith. This offense is a total aberration in what was by all accounts a successful and honorable career," the memorandum began.
The U.S. Probation Office has recommended a sentence of more than 10 years. Prosecutors were expected to ask Spencer to follow those guidelines when they submit their own memorandum.
McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were convicted of accepting almost $180,000 in loans and gifts like trips in a private plane and expensive clothes from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the former CEO of Star Scientific. Williams, who testified against the couple under a grant of immunity, wanted them to promote a dietary supplement.
McDonnell is to be sentenced Jan. 6 and Maureen on Feb. 20. During the six-week trial, McDonnell tried to convince the jury Maureen acted alone and without his knowledge -- which could have also spared her because she was not a public servant.