Former Gov. McDonnell to remain free during appeals process

Former Gov. McDonnell to remain free during appeals process

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will be allowed to remain free while his case makes its way through the appeals process, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday.

The order from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond means McDonnell no longer has to begin his two-year prison sentence on February 9.

Click here for full #McDonnell coverage:

Instead briefs on the appeal will need to be filed by March 2 in advance of a May 12 hearing.

The court ruled McDonnell is not a flight risk or danger to the community and the appeal is "not for the purpose of delay and raises a substantive question of law or fact."

Click here to read the order:

McDonnell issued a statement Monday afternoon thanking the court for granting him his freedom during the appeal process:

"I am grateful for today's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit allowing me to remain free on bond pending my appeal. I plan to spend time with my new granddaughter who was born this month, attend my sons' graduation ceremonies, and embrace family time with my daughters. I want to thank my family, friends and legal team for their tireless support and unwavering belief in my innocence. At this time our family requests privacy."

Copyright 2015 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved