Report: Gov. McDonnell Didn't Disclose $120,000 in Gifts

By: Newsroom Email
By: Newsroom Email

HARRISONBURG-- Gov. Bob McDonnell didn't disclose $120,000 in gifts from the CEO of Star Scientific, according to the Washington Post.

The Post reports Johnnie Williams gave $70,000 to a corporation owned by McDonnell and his sister. In addition, Williams gave McDonnell's wife Maureen a check for $50,000. In both instances, the governor did not disclose the donations as gifts or loans.

The total amount the governor reportedly accepted in the last two years totals $145,000, according to the Post.

According to political analyst Dr. Bob Roberts, the governor is complying with state law, which doesn't require state politicians to disclose gifts unless they are given directly to them and are more than $50. He said the failure to disclose them does create a bad image, though.

The governor is currently under both state and federal investigations. State prosecutors are looking into whether he followed proper disclosure procedure.

Federal investigators are seeing if he has given Star Scientific any benefits during his time as governor. The McDonnells have promoted Star Scientific products, but the governor said he has not given them any special treatment.

Dr. Roberts thinks the disclosure law should be changed. "It doesn't help the state's reputation, but that's different from criminality. That's a major difference than embarrassment. Now there's talk about changing the financial disclosures. Changing the disclosures is not the problem. The problem is allowing public officials to take such huge amounts," he said.

Roberts notes these types of gifts are not allowed for federal politicians.

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