Cuccinelli recuses himself from ex-mansion chef lawsuit against - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Cuccinelli recuses himself from ex-mansion chef lawsuit against McDonnell

Posted: Updated:

BOB LEWIS
AP Political Writer

    
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli cited a conflict of interest Wednesday as he recused his office and hired a private legal team to represent Gov. Bob McDonnell in matters arising from the politically charged criminal case pending against the former chef at Virginia's Executive Mansion.
    
Democratic former Virginia Attorney General Anthony F. Troy will lead four attorneys from the Richmond firm of Eckert Seamans providing counsel to McDonnell in his official capacity and others in his office as an embezzlement case proceeds against Todd Schneider and other probes of the mansion's kitchen operations continue.
    
"Due to the practical conflict previously noted by this office in the case of Commonwealth v. Todd Schneider, ... you and your office are appointed to serve as special counsel to represent (McDonnell) ... for matters related to, or arising from, this case and any other related matters," Assistant Attorney General Ellen Porter wrote in a letter to Troy dated Wednesday.
    
The conflict is the exposure both Cuccinelli and McDonnell have had to nutritional supplements maker Star Scientific Inc., the subject of a federal securities probe and three shareholders' lawsuits, and its chief executive, Jonnie Williams. Williams gave gifts to both McDonnell and Cuccinelli, some of which they disclosed belatedly or not until after journalists had first reported them.
    
Williams' company gave McDonnell's campaign more than $100,000 and, in 2011, wrote the governor's daughter, Cailin, a $15,000 check to cover expenses for her Executive Mansion wedding reception, including the bill from Schneider's private catering business. McDonnell never reported the gift on his required statement of economic interests for that year because state law requires elected officials disclose only gifts to themselves, not family members.
    
Cuccinelli, meanwhile, has accepted more than $18,000 in gifts from Williams since 2009, including more than $6,000 worth of food supplements, and a $3,500 family summer vacation and $1,500 Thanksgiving retreat and dinner at Williams' luxury lodge on Smith Mountain Lake. Cuccinelli amended disclosure statements dating from 2009 last month to add the lake vacations and other gifts that he said had slipped his mind earlier.
    
Neither Cuccinelli nor McDonnell is charged with wrongdoing, but the FBI is scrutinizing the relationship between McDonnell and Williams. The FBI's interest is related to the securities probe of Star Scientific.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:42 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:42:32 GMT
    Thomas Allen WinstonThomas Allen Winston
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
  • Update: Roanoke police investigating shooting in Schewels parking lot

    UPDATE: Roanoke police investigating shooting in Schewels parking lot

    UPDATE: Roanoke police investigating shooting in Schewels parking lot

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:19 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:19:31 GMT
     Roanoke Police are investigating after a man was shot in the Schewels parking lot on the 3600 block of Ferncliff Avenue. Police says it does not appear to be a random act. One man was shot and taken to the hospital.
     Roanoke Police are investigating after a man was shot in the Schewels parking lot on the 3600 block of Ferncliff Avenue. Police says it does not appear to be a random act. One man was shot and taken to the hospital.
  • March Mugshots

    March Mugshots

    Monday, April 7 2014 12:49 PM EDT2014-04-07 16:49:38 GMT
    Michelle Marie Bussiere was arrested last week and charged with identity theft, forgery, theft under $500, among other charges.  (Source: Sullivan County Sheriff's Office)Michelle Marie Bussiere was arrested last week and charged with identity theft, forgery, theft under $500, among other charges. (Source: Sullivan County Sheriff's Office)
    This photo gallery features mugshots of individuals arrested in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. 
    This photo gallery features mugshots of individuals arrested in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. 
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.