CEO at center of governor gift scandal to resign today
GLEN ALLEN, Va. (WTVR) – Jonnie Williams, the man at the center of the gift scandal has plagued Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for the last several months, is slated to step down as CEO of Star Scientific, Inc., according to the company.
Williams, who founded the Glen Allen-based dietary supplement company, would step away from Star Scientific at the company’s annual shareholder meeting scheduled for Friday, Dec. 27.
Williams and his company made headlines this year as news of his relationship with Governor McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell unfolded over several months.
Federal investigators have been looking into whether or not Williams got anything in return from the governor in exchange for the nearly $150,000 worth of gifts and loans McDonnell and his family received from Williams over an 18-month period.
Some of the gifts included vacations, checks to McDonnell daughters for their weddings, golf clubs for the governor’s sons, a shopping spree for the First Lady, and even a Rolex watch.
Loans were intended to help McDonnell’s struggling real estate business.
While McDonnell has said in the past that the gifts and loans have been repaid, federal investigators are still investigating and deliberating whether or not to indict the governor.