Gov. McAuliffe, former McDonnell staffers react to verdict

Posted at 5:13 PM, Sep 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-06 00:08:35-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Tucker Martin, who served in Bob McDonnell's inner circle for years, was so close to Virginia's 71st governor he was interviewed by federal investigators last summer.

Martin, who was also called to testify by the federal government early on in Bob and Maureen McDonnell's corruption trial, opened up to CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George in a wide-ranging interview -- his first since the McDonnells were convicted on multiple federal corruption counts.

"Your stomach just kind of dropped -- it was a sick feeling," Martin said about the moment when he heard the verdict.

"It's a little hard to imagine what the administration was like before all this because -- from March 2013 on -- this was our world," Martin said, providing insight into how much the investigation consumed the office.


RELATED: McDonnell Timeline: What they did wrong and when they did it

As for what it was like to testify, Martin said, "You have to just go in and tell the truth I hope that's my last visit to a federal courthouse."

But do Martin or any other staffers wish they could go back in time to warn the governor?

"My wife and I have talked about that. I can't do that to myself," Martin added.

While Tucker Martin may not be willing to look back in the past to see if anything could have been done differently, Chesterfield State Senator Steve Martin looking to the past to improve his future.

"I absolutely am going to change the way things are done in my office.  We have things that come to my office that I might never see, I have to reconsider whether we even allow that," Senator Martin said.

Governor Terry McAuliffe said he hopes the verdict is a catalyst for ethics reform.

McAuliffe appeared however to stand by his predecessor saying McDonnell "has been a friend and he still will be a friend."

Tucker Martin said the pictures of Bob McDonnell that adorn the walls in his home office will not be going anywhere.

"We are still right here, none of us are leaving your side," Tucker Martin said.