McDonnell denies wrongdoing in mansion controversy
July 9th, 2013
11:33 AM ET
9 months ago

McDonnell denies wrongdoing in mansion controversy

(CNN) – Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell pushed back against allegations Tuesday that he improperly used resources from the Executive Mansion, saying he follows the same rules as former Virginia governors.

The Republican also denied that a company owned by one of his political donor's has received preferential treatment from the commonwealth.

Speaking on WNIS, a radio station in Norfolk, for his monthly "Ask the Governor" segment, McDonnell started out saying there was a limit to what he could talk about due to ongoing investigations, but he expressed there was no wrongdoing on his part.

McDonnell reimbursed the state late last week with a $2,400 check for food and household supplies used by his children, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The reimbursement came after former mansion chef Todd Schneider alleged in court filings that the governor's family inappropriately used the mansion credit card for personal expenditures, including supplies sent back to school with their college-age children, the Times-Dispatch reported.

Schneider made the allegations as he himself faces charges that he embezzled food from the governor's mansion when he served as executive chef from 2010-2012.

But McDonnell argued that reimbursing the mansion for personal expenses is nothing new.

"We're running things the same way, under the same rules that every other governor has complied with," he said on the radio show. "Allegations that are being made by litigants or former employees that somehow something is different with our administration is just not accurate, and painful. And the attacks on my family and my kids are just wrong."

On another front, McDonnell maintained that Star Scientific, a company owned by donor Jonnie Williams Sr., has not received any benefits–such as state money, board appointments, or economic development grants–since he's been governor.

The FBI has been investigating McDonnell's relationship with Williams for gifts he provided to the governor, including catering for his daughter's wedding. The federal agency was also determining whether McDonnell, who was elected in 2009, had taken any government actions that would have benefited Williams' company.

The governor argued Tuesday that while he advocates for and supports Virginia businesses "all the time," Star Scientific "has not received any public benefits whatsoever during the time that I've been governor."


Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Virginia
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. California Gary

    Ignore that man behind the curtain! Nothing going on here.......everything was paid back (after I was caught of course). And that fella that paid for my daughter's wedding.......why he is just a good patriotic American that wanted to do something nice for me........no quid pro quo here........no sir........he's just a swell guy! He would have done the same thing for me even if I wasn't the governor. Yeah........right.

    July 9, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. ChirsC

    Bob McDonnell is just another GOP showing their true colors

    July 9, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. anonoymous

    The gop would probably have a leg to stand on with issues their against like gay marriage govt waste in the form intitlements if it werent for their darn kids proving that their liars. I know its Mr Obama fault.

    July 9, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Italmn

    He has ALWAYS had his hands in the Cookie Jar ! Darrell Issa is just as much a CROOK too ! lol....

    July 9, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. just sayin

    so the fbi is busy investigating pantry expenditures in virginia instead of finding the people that murder 4 americans in benghazi. this adminstration is the most incompetent, corrupt administration this country has ever seen.

    i'm curious, was charlie rangel ever forced to reimburse or pay fines for all of his financial shenanigans?

    July 9, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell pushed back against allegations Tuesday that he improperly used resources from the Executive Mansion, saying he follows the same rules as former Virginia governors.
    --------------------------
    What a liar. If he follows the same rules, then why did he have to write out a reimbursement check for $2400? The above article omits the most significant facts about that reimbursement, which is he was busted for taking the identical liberties before. He was charging taxpayers for his pet's food and medications, and other stuff just as surprising.

    July 9, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. it must be said

    Nothing but a politically motivated witchhunt.

    Why isn't the FBI going after the BIG crooks? Like Obama's campaign contributor that lined his pockets with many millions of our tax dollars when Solyndra went belly up? I guess that $2,500 was more important.

    July 9, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Okay, I give him the point that paid the money back. However, he insisted on keep misusing his office. That's not what bugs me most about McCorrupt. That $6500 Rolex, the driving around in a Ferrari & an all expense paid trip to the NCAA Tournament is what gets under my skin.

    July 9, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Bill from GA

    I know in Georgia, we expect our republican governors to be crooks. The current one was under Congressional Investigation before he resigned Congress to run for Gov. the previous repub governor, Sonny Perdue, was behind many questionable (and profitable) transactions, including having a tax exemption passed that only benefited himself.

    So what's a little profiteering in the State House? Whadda ya expect?

    July 9, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  10. California Gary

    @just sayin & it must be said.........are you two under the impression that the FBI is only capable of conducting one investigation at a time? Your comments make no sense.

    July 9, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. rs

    Someone smell smoke?

    July 9, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. rs

    so the fbi is busy investigating pantry expenditures in virginia instead of finding the people that murder 4 americans in benghazi. this adminstration is the most incompetent, corrupt administration this country has ever seen.
    __________________________
    And the legal standing of the FBI in a foreign nation is....?
    By your logic, we should have investigated Bush, and Cheney a long time ago.

    July 9, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. sonkarlay

    That is the republican way of government, small and do nothing to move the nation forward, watch the movie best of the best 3 and u will know how republican are, what shame

    July 9, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. just sayin

    California Gary
    @just sayin & it must be said.........are you two under the impression that the FBI is only capable of conducting one investigation at a time? Your comments make no sense
    --

    as usual you miss the point. it is a matter of priorities. the fbi like any other government agency has limited manpower and must prioritize what they spend their time, money and resources on. the obama administration places a high priority on investigations that are political in nature, but only for his opponents. this baloney is nothing more than the irs scandal but with the fbi being used instead.

    there must be thousands of more important things for the fbi to be spending time and money on besides the pantry expenditures in the virginia governors mansion. this is a perfect example of the soft corruption of the obama adminstration and its misuse of government resources to target opponents.

    July 9, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. just sayin

    rs
    so the fbi is busy investigating pantry expenditures in virginia instead of finding the people that murder 4 americans in benghazi. this adminstration is the most incompetent, corrupt administration this country has ever seen.
    __________________________
    And the legal standing of the FBI in a foreign nation is....?
    -–

    talk to obama about it. he is the one that decided they were the ones to investigate it. just another raucous night in benghazi that got out of control. nothing to get upset about. our ambassadors get killed all the time. we got plenty more. not a big deal.

    July 9, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Thomas

    If Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell wasn't a politician , he would make a great Televangelist preacher convincing grandma's to give up there retirement to him in the name of the Almighty !

    July 9, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    this baloney is nothing more than the irs scandal but with the fbi being used instead.
    ----------------------------------------------
    First of all it was a non scandal which YOU along with some of your right wingers up here were screaming to high heaven that the administration had something to do with it. Now, the House Oversight Committee on the other hand really wasted tax payer money, literally! Why wasn't Issa insistent on releasing all of the transcripts?

    July 9, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    just sayin

    so the fbi is busy investigating pantry expenditures in virginia instead of finding the people that murder 4 americans in benghazi. this adminstration is the most incompetent, corrupt administration this country has ever seen.

    i'm curious, was charlie rangel ever forced to reimburse or pay fines for all of his financial shenanigans?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A 5-second Google search would have satiated your curiousity. Or maybe not as you won't like the answer.

    July 9, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. rs

    just sayin

    rs
    so the fbi is busy investigating pantry expenditures in virginia instead of finding the people that murder 4 americans in benghazi. this adminstration is the most incompetent, corrupt administration this country has ever seen.
    __________________________
    And the legal standing of the FBI in a foreign nation is....?
    -–

    talk to obama about it. he is the one that decided they were the ones to investigate it. just another raucous night in benghazi that got out of control. nothing to get upset about. our ambassadors get killed all the time. we got plenty more. not a big deal.
    _________________________
    Take a civic or a foreign relations class. The President cannot declare our nation superior to another on their internal affairs. The FBI may cooperate with local law enforcement or their equals, but they hav no independent ability.
    Give it up already. Behghazi was no deep conspiracy and sad to say, no worse than the dozen embassy attacks that happened during Bush's last term.

    July 9, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. ghostwriter

    it must be said......you are attempting to downplay the investigation of crony capitalism by focusing on an investigation of crony capitalism? Well, if you can connect the dots of Solydra applying for a loan program that Bush created BEFORE Obama even won the office, you are in the wrong job. No DA in the universe would take that case.

    Just saying....What can I say? You wish to excuse crony capitalism because you think they have more important things to look at? When you become director, investigate whatever you wish. Till then, wrong is wrong.

    July 9, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |