“The rules that I’m following have been rules that have been in place for decades,” McDonnell told a radio interviewer on Tuesday. “These have been the disclosure rules of Virginia. I’m following those. To, after the fact, impose some new requirements on an official when you haven’t kept record of other gifts given to family members or things like that obviously wouldn’t be fair.”
McDonnell and his family are already being investigated for allegedly accepting a $6,500 watch and $15,000 in catering costs for his daughter’s wedding from Star Scientific CEO Johnnie R. Williams, Sr. in exchange for his help urging state health officials to approve the company’s anti-inflammatory supplement as an option for Medicare recipients, despite not being federally approved. McDonnell has argued that the payment toward the catering expenses was a gift for his daughter from Williams, who he considers a “family friend.”
The Post reported that $70,000 was transferred in 2012 from a trust owned by Williams to MoBo Real Estate Partners, a limited-liability corporation formed by the governor and his sister, split into a $50,000 check that March and another $20,000 payment later that year. In May 2011, Williams also allegedly gave McDonnell’s wife an undisclosed check for $50,000.
Gifts to family members are exempt from a state law requiring politicans from disclosing gifts valued at more than $50. But McDonnell reported on state disclosure forms in 2011 and 2012 that a family member owed between $10,001 and $50,000 to an undisclosed creditor described as working in “medical services” and “health care.”
The Post’s report was released on the heels of McDonnell’s son, Sean, being arrested for his own safety and charged with public intoxication on July 6. He is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 12.
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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