Former governor's mansion director testifies at McDonnell trial

Print
Email
|

13News Now

Posted on August 7, 2014 at 5:50 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 7 at 5:24 PM

Live coverage of the McDonnell trial

RICHMOND -- The former governor's mansion director testified Thursday that former first lady Maureen McDonnell could be "sneaky" and that she used her husband's name to get things she wanted even without his approval.
 
Sarah Scarbrough, who is a long-time friend of the McDonnells' daughter, Cailin, said the former first lady once told staffers to put samples of Anatabloc in gift bags at an event for the Republican Governor's Association.
 
Anatabloc is the dietary supplement sold by Star Scientific, the company founded by wealthy businessman Jonnie Williams. Williams testified last week that he showered the McDonnells with $165,000 in gifts, cash and loans in exchange for their help promoting his product.
 
Scarbrbough also told jurors that she thought Jonnie Williams had an ulterior motive for hanging around the McDonnells.
 
During questioning with a lawyer for Bob McDonnell, Scarbrough also said the former governor was in denial about his wife's mental capacity. Scarbrough didn't elaborate on what she meant by that but said the former first lady was often unhappy during her time in the governor's mansion.
 
"She stated multiple times that she did not want to be the first lady," Scarbrough told jurors.
 
Late in the questioning by prosecutors, Scarbrough said Maureen McDonnell was angry after a meeting with FBI agents in February 2013.
 
Scarbrough said the first lady told her that someone "set her up to fail," after the meeting. She also said that Bob McDonnell was unhappy following the meeting, too.
 
Scarbrough's testimony wrapped up shortly before lunch. As she left the courthouse, she told reporters that having to testify was painful.
 
Scarbrough's testimony came on the ninth day of the McDonnells' corruption trial in U.S. District Court in Richmond.  
 
Later in the afternoon, a doctor who was briefly involved with a trial of Williams' dietary supplement, Anatabloc, testified that he had dinner with Williams, another doctor and the McDonnells after an event at the governor's mansion in February 2012.
 
Dr. Frank Crantz said he walked away from that dinner with the impression Williams and the first family were very close.
 
"Williams was treated like a member of the McDonnell family," he told jurors.
 
Crantz also told the jury that he spent the night at the governor's mansion after dinner that night at the invitation of the McDonnells. He said Williams had promised to fly him back his home in Patomac, MD that night but later said it was too late.
 
Crantz said he wasn't sure why he had been invited to the dinner.

Defense lawyers have said Bob McDonnell will testify, but that won't happen until much later in a trial, which is expected to last at least until the end of the month.

Print
Email
|