University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan has written a letter expressing her support for former Governor Bob McDonnell to receive a lighter sentence on his corruption conviction.
In September a jury convicted McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from wealthy vitamin executive Johnnie Williams in exchange for helping promote products made by his company, Star Scientific.
Sullivan wrote a letter to federal Judge James R. Spencer stating that she never felt pressured by McDonnell to have the university conduct research for Star Scientific. Sullivan's letter is one of over 400 letters submitted to the judge by Bob McDonnell's defense team as part of their request that he receive a sentence of three years of community service instead of prison time.
Federal prosecutors are urging the judge to reject the request for a sentence of community service. McDonnell's lawyers argue that a sentence of at least 10 years sought by prosecutors is too harsh.
Bob McDonnell is set to be sentenced on 11 counts Tuesday in Richmond. Maureen McDonnell faces sentencing on eight counts in February.