Maureen McDonnell, Former Virginia First Lady, Appeals Corruption Convictions

Former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell has appealed her public corruption convictions.

The appeal comes less than two weeks after she was sentenced to a year and a day in prison in a corruption case that involved more than $165,000 in gifts, trips and loans from a wealthy business executive.

Both Maureen and her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, were found guilty last in September of doing favors for the executive in exchange for the gifts.

At sentencing, Maureen McDonnell's defense told the judge she maintains her innocence and not all mistakes are criminal; nonetheless, she tearfully apologized to the people of Virginia.

"I'm the one who allowed the serpent into the mansion, and the venom has poisoned my marriage, my family and the commonwealth that I love," she said. "I am the one who opened the door, and I blame no one but myself."

Bob McDonnell, once considered a possible running mate for Mitt Romney in 2012, was sentenced last month to two years in prison.

Both McDonnells are free on bond while they pursue appeals.

Maureen McDonnell's notice of appeal was sent Monday to the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bob McDonnell previously appealed his convictions to the same court. Oral arguments in his case are set for the week of May 12.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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