Bob McCabe's sudden rise in power in Norfolk politics is not the most remarkable thing, but his tragic fall from it.
The native of Norfolk was a 35-year-old detective in police who was not well-known. He was also not very wealthy when he was elected sheriff in 1993. This surprised a long-time incumbent.
Soon he was surrounded by the city's elite and wealthy, earning a good salary and leading a comfortable lifestyle. As he became involved in numerous charitable, civic, and professional organizations, his name recognition increased. His next five elections were won easily.
McCabe's luck started to improve in the latter half of 2016.
After finishing last in his race for the mayor's office, he discovered that he was being investigated by federal authorities and announced his resignation. He was accused of accepting cash and gifts from two men who were long-term city jailers in return for favorable treatment and inside information.
McCabe, aged 63, was convicted by a jury on Tuesday after a three week trial at U.S. District Court, Norfolk. Judge Arenda Wright Alley immediately released McCabe's bond and set sentencing for January 21.
Two family members are not surprised at McCabe's current circumstances: McCabes older brother Tom, McCabes only sibling; and McCabes oldest child, Brian, a 39 year-old son. They have been separated from each other for a long time.
Tom McCabe (66), said that Bob had always had a superiority complex. He wanted to be a big fish, but he was a small fish in a small pond.
Tom McCabe, who resides in Norfolk, claimed that his brother has been refusing to talk to him for 30 years, allegedly because of something that the older brother said. They didn't even speak to one another at their father's funeral in 2013.
Brian McCabe, a Norfolk resident who works in construction, stated that he hadn't spoken to his father for many years. He would not say how many or why.
McCabe is a man both men believe must face the consequences for his actions, even though they don't wish him any ill will.
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Brian McCabe expressed his concern about his father's conviction and the upcoming sentencing. He did the right thing and must be held responsible for it.
Tom McCabe stated that he was not surprised to learn that his brother refused to agree to a plea bargain. The prosecution revealed that a plea deal had been made at the beginning of the trial, but did not disclose the terms.
Tom McCabe stated that Bobby's pride would not allow him to plead guilty.
According to a spokesperson for Western Tidewater Regional Jail where McCabe was first sent following his conviction, McCabe declined to interview for this story. William Smith, the jails' superintendent, stated that McCabe was later transferred to another facility for his own safety.
McCabe can get a maximum of 220 years imprisonment, but federal sentencing guidelines will likely call for much less.
Local defense lawyers who practice regularly in federal court think that the guidelines, which consider many factors, could recommend a term of up to 20 years. They said that judges can go beyond or below the recommendations, but they will usually issue sentences within the guidelines.
McCabe's lack of previous convictions will be in his favor. However, McCabe's crimes, his lack remorse and the length of time they were committed as well as the fact that McCabe was a public official who abused their office will all weigh against him. They also stated that his testimony at trial will likely be considered obstruction of justice.
McCabe may lose his pension. The law in the state requires that employees of the government who are convicted of felonies related to the performance of their jobs must lose their retirement benefits. However, only if the employer of the convicted person requests that they be stopped. McCabe was constitutionally elected and it is not clear who his employer would have been.
James Broccoletti was McCabes defense attorney and he said that he would appeal the convictions.
The defense will raise the issue of McCabe's decision to have Boyle and his co-defendant Gerard Jerry Boyle tried separately. This meant that Boyles testimony could not be offered at McCabes trial.
Boyle was also the owner of Correct care Solutions, a Nashville-based firm that provided medical services for Norfolks inmates over many years. McCabe is facing similar charges to Boyle and will be tried in October.
Federal investigators were told by Boyle that any information he gave McCabe was only for goodwill and did not come with any expectation.
Broccoletti claimed in court papers that McCabe's defense was aided by the testimony, which shows that there was no quid proquo.
Broccoletti will also appeal a ruling which allowed two witnesses to testify on statements they claimed were made by Norman Hughey (deceased sheriff's office official) in 2019.
Witnesses stated that Hughey, who had served as an undersheriff, said to McCabe that he wanted to give information on Boyles company's competitors. Hughey declined.
Broccoletti claimed in court papers that it was wrong for witnesses to testify about statements, because they couldn't cross-examine a dead man. Hughey was also accused of lying because McCabe forced him to retire.
Jane Harper, 757-222-5097, email@example.com