Report: McDonnells received $145,000 from donor

RICHMOND (WTVR)–There are new allegations that Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams gave Gov. Bob McDonnell’s real estate company $70,000 last year.

The Washington Post reported that the money was not disclosed as a gift or a loan, and cited “people with knowledge of the payments.”

These allegations would bring the total of funds from Williams to $145,000.

A $50,000 check was given to Maureen McDonnell in 2011. A $10,000 check was presented to the McDonnell’s eldest daughter Jeanine, for wedding costs in 2013. The first family was also under scrutiny for accepting $15,000 from Williams to pay for catering at Cailin’s 2011 wedding.

The Post reports that people familiar with the transaction say that the governor viewed the payments as loans, not gifts, to his real estate venture. State law requires that elected official disclose their personal loans but not loans made to their corporate interests.

CBS 6 reached out to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s spokesperson for a comment.

“Star Scientific and Jonnie Williams have not received any board appointments, economic development grants, targeted tax incentives or government contracts during this administration,” Tucker Martin responded via email.

“The governor has been diligent over the years in making his financial disclosures”

“As this article notes, the loan to the First Lady was disclosed in accordance with Virginia’s reporting requirements. As the article also notes, loans to businesses are not required to be disclosed.”

“Finally, regarding a gift to one of the governor’s children, Virginia law does not require the reporting of gifts to family members.”

The situation surrounding McDonnell’s finances will likely lead to new legislation on financial disclosure for lawmakers in Virginia, political experts said.

“Essentially what you’ve got here is a bailout. A bailout by a big political donor of the personal family finances of the McDonnell’s,” said CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth.

Click over to the Post to read more.

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