RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The former Executive Chef at the Governor's Mansion says Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell used public money to throw dinners for political allies.
Todd Schneider alleges the governor hosted the political parties on the taxpayers' dime and told Schneider to use taxpayer funded food, instead of paying for the dinners. The allegations became public in court documents filed Monday.
Schneider's attorney claims the arrangement was orchestrated by the governor's administration to quote "cover up the misuse of state assets that advanced the political and personal goals of the McDonnells."
The court filing includes a document that lists parties, several of which were put on by the governor's political action committee.
If true, the misuse of thousands of taxpayer dollars would be a felony under Virginia law and could carry a prison sentence of two to ten years and a $100,000 fine.
The documents say Schneider told Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli about the alleged wrongdoing, but claims the Commonwealth ignored the complaint and instead turned around and charged Schneider.
The governor's attorney argues the charges against Schneider were brought up improperly because of Cuccinelli's conflict of interest.
The prosecution argues a grand jury ultimately indicted Schneider.
Neither side can comment directly, due to an ongoing gag order in the case.
McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin dismissed the Chef's accusations.
"These are claims made by an individual facing four felony charges of embezzlement," Martin said. "Assertions regarding this matter should be properly considered in a court of law.
We also reached out to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office, who declined to comment due to the gag order.
The governor has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, but has not been able to answer many questions because of an ongoing federal investigation.
These accusations are new revelations that go above and beyond the initial reports of not reporting gifts.
It is unclear whether these claims are in any way connected to the ongoing federal investigation.
Click here to read the court documents: http://blogs.nbc12.com/files/schneider-case--reponse-on-motion-to-dismiss.pdf
For more information, check our our political blog, DecisionVirginia.com