Va taxpayers have paid $570,000 for McDonnell investigations - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Va taxpayers have paid $570,000 for McDonnell investigations

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - New billings show that taxpayers have now paid more than $570,000 for legal bills related to a criminal case involving the former chef at Virginia's governor's mansion and a related gift-giving investigation.

The additional legal fees are for two firms retained by the state attorney general's office to represent Gov. Bob McDonnell in his official capacity, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Friday. The counsel was also provided to his office and state employees.

The latest legal bills cover work performed in July, August and September. The bill for that stretch was $331,165.

That is atop more than $243,000 previously billed the state.

McDonnell has separate legal counsel that is being paid through a legal defense fund set up for the governor. No tax dollars are being spent on that.

The case involving the former chef at the Executive Mansion ended in September when Todd Schneider pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of embezzlement. Outside counsel was appointed by the attorney general's office because it said it faced conflicts in the case.

Brian Gottstein, a spokesman for the office, has said the outside counsel worked for discounted rates.

The other matter involved a business executive who gave gifts and loans to the McDonnell family. McDonnell said in July that the gifts and loans had been returned or repaid.

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