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Chef who brought down McDonnells dishes on Bob and Maureen

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A key figure in the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, sat back and watched the legal and political drama play out on television.

Former Virginia Executive Mansion Chef, Todd Schneider said Thursday, justice was being served on the menu after the conviction of the former first couple.

Schneider was the chef in the mansion from 2010 – 2012.

It was Schneider, you may recall, who went to the FBI with the key evidence used to indict the McDonnells on charges they accepted gifts and money from political donor and Virginia businessman Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting Williams’ company, Star Scientific, and its dietary supplement supplement Anatabloc.

Todd Schneider was the Virginia’s executive mansion chef from 2010 - 2012.

Todd Schneider was the Virginia’s executive mansion chef from 2010 – 2012.

Schneider only alerted authorities to the McDonnells’ relationship with Williams after the chef was charged with embezzlement when someone accused him of taking food and other items from the Virginia Executive Mansion.

In this first sit down television interview since the McDonnell scandal broke,  Schneider told CBS 6 reporter Lorenzo Hall he was upset the McDonnells did not come to his defense and acknowledge the barter system they had in place. He said he would order food for his private catering business through the mansion in lieu of payment for work his company did for official state business.

“I’m not mad at the McDonnells. I’m not a disgruntled employee. I’m a hurt family friend,” Schneider told Hall in an exclusive interview scheduled to air Thursday on CBS 6 News at 11. “I felt like I went up to my parents and they just shut the door in my face and said get out.”

"I'm not mad at the McDonnells. I'm not a disgruntled employee. I'm a hurt family friend," Schneider said in 2014.

“I’m not mad at the McDonnells. I’m not a disgruntled employee. I’m a hurt family friend,” Schneider said in 2014.

So Schneider left.

Soon after he was removed from his job at the Executive Mansion in early 2012, Schneider moved to South Florida to escape his sudden notoriety.

He returned to Virginia from time to time to go before a judge on those embezzlement charges. Last September he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of embezzlement.

Under an agreement, Schneider avoided jail time and was ordered to pay $2,300 in restitution to the state.

“It was the best thing to do economically for me,” Schneider said about his plea deal. “I’m not guilty. I would not say I was guilty.”

During his time in South Florida, Hall asked Schneider about life in the Executive Mansion with the McDonnells, specifically his reaction to Bob McDonnells’ portrayal of his struggling marriage.

Schneider told Hall, that was one of the saddest aspects of this trial. He admits to having a soft-spot for the McDonnells. The chef told Hall, he’s disappointed the couple used their marriage as defense.

While on trial, the former governor said his 38-year marriage to Maureen was on the rocks and the two rarely talked, but Schneider said behind the scenes, he saw a different couple.

“I saw nothing but a loving couple who were really into each other and you can, how can I say it? Feel it. You could feel the love,” said Schneider.

However, the chef said what saddened him the most was the character beating Maureen took in court. She was described by former staffers as, “a nutbag,” “a diva,” and “a screamer.”

Schneider said Maureen was like his sister to him and they hung out in the kitchen frequently, catching up over a glass of wine until the former governor joined them for a beer.

“She was awesome. She was great to be around. Fun and smart. She’s not a stupid woman. She’s a very smart, bright woman. I liked her,” said Schneider.

The chef said he preferred to remember the McDonnells in happier times. As he tries to rebuild his life in Fort Lauderdale working for a smaller catering company, the McDonnells prepare to find out just how much time they’ll spend behind bars.

“I feel their getting their just deserts. It’s the truth,” Schneider said.

The former Virginia Executive Mansion chef said he had no plans on returning to Virginia, but admitted he is writing a book about his time working at the mansion.

31 comments

  • Manlishi

    ” I’m not a disgruntled employee. I’m a hurt family friend,” BULLLS**T.
    Regardless of affiliations. I question the integrity and professionalism of WTVR running this segment during a directly related deliberation.

  • Becky

    Thought Government Media had reached the pit of depravity and debauchers, but NO!
    Now Washington Post imports and WTVR’s Lorenzo Hall travels to deliberately solicit more
    Smut Gossip from their original, common, “Celebrity/Star” performer. Media’s incessantly induced
    mass hysteria, and Media’s Targeted set up Attacks and Kill Notices are becoming more
    dangerous in every aspect of human existence, and in accordance with Administration’s Agendas.

      • Becky

        Ah, The Joey, that believes he can hide the truth behind Handout, Talking Points PC insults. Transparency is Truth. Published every day, day-after-day, Nationwide, in Nationwide Governing Media Broadcasting Stations, news print, and social media. The redundancy
        is the Proof. But, I don’t really care, Joey, what you think. Hold you in same regard.
        You have already joined the pretend, act, perform, believe, hope and change LIES brigade. Cover your eyes, wish really hard, and Tinker Bell will sprinkle her fairy dust of fairytales all over you again..as a good and faithful subservient.

  • aleinva

    I wonder if it was Maureen or someone working for her who tipped off the authorities? At any rate I bet the McDonald’s rue the day the chef was accused and started this whole messy ball rolling!

  • Unknown

    This man is a liar. I’ve had just enough of his lies. Talk to the people that worked for him and you would think twice about airing this garbage.

    • Eileen Hennessy

      I worked for him as well. Todd Schneider is the most corrupt, unethical, and truly horrible person I have ever had the displeasure of working for.

  • joker

    Great charachter witness WTVR. Didcyoy mention to ask his former coworkers about the reasoning he was so quick to save his own hide?

    WTVR has followed WRIC & WWBT as being pathetic excuses for investigative journalism

  • Martha

    Todd Schneider has a long history of lies and indiscretions. Ask any one that knows or worked with him. He’s truly delusional!

  • Glen Allen

    There was a jury of 12 people who under the direction of a Judges, reviewed the case and the applicable laws, and ultimately determined Mr. and Mrs. McDonnell guilty of most of the charges. I voted for McDonnell, and I believe he did a good job as Governor of the Commonwealth, but I also believe he became greedy and did the things he has been accused of doing. This has never been a “republican” thing, or a “democrat” thing, it has always been about greed. Greed has no political affiliation, I predict we will see this locally when and if the Government gets wise to Mayor Dwight Jones, a democrat, who just may be found guilty of very similar charges, but likely at a much higher degree.

    • Becky

      Disagree. Ceremoniously Obama, Holder of Contempt, DoInjustice, McAuliffe with two separate
      Federal “Investigations”; Bryon Marshall & Mayor Jones, and all their hand-picked Failed Executive
      Management Teams, with hidden Benefits Packages have all skirted laws, constitution(s), city
      charters, etc. and gotten away with under the Protected “Can’t Touch Dis!” Democratic Party of
      “Impeccable Governance of Corruption”. They set their Precedence. They, however, can’t
      stand up and under it, and “magically” get to run, hide, escape, and evade…ceremoniously as PC.

    • Blackbeered

      But Rev Dwight’s building a church [the rate at which seems to have slowed since the Stadium deal didn’t go through on schedule?]

  • Blackbeered

    Makes you wonder if the verdict will open the floodgates on extortion demands and more “under-the-table” corruption rather than less.

  • Rosa Johnson

    even though I am an Obama democrat, I do not want to see the ex-gov and his wife go to prison. they paid all the money back, they were like 50% of us, deeply in debt and trying to keep up with the Joneses. the only person that got hurt was Johnnie, the slimeball. give them probation, community service and a fine. he did after all serve the state of Va. well for a long time. and he ws a good governor for the state of Va.he made some really lousy choices but he was scared. so was his wife.

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