RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will give $18,000 to an unspecified charity, an amount equal to the value of the personal gifts Cuccinelli received from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.
Cuccinelli, who is the GOP nominee for governor, has fought calls to pay back Williams ever since Governor Bob McDonnell decided to pay back more than $150,000 in loans and gifts from Williams to him and his family. McDonnell's connection to Williams is under investigation by the federal government.
Cuccinelli has slowly worked to distance himself from Williams and McDonnell. He has said that McDonnell introduced him to Williams and that a big chunk of the gifts given to him from the CEO were in the form of nutritional supplements that he ended up giving away to other people. While Cuccinelli's gifts from Williams are not insignificant, they are a far cry from the financial connection the Governor has to the businessman.
Initially, Cuccinelli forgot to report the gifts from Williams but later amended his financial disclosure report.
Cuccinelli has given a myriad of reasons as to why he could not, or would not return the gifts from Williams. First he said that the gifts were tangible and something that could not be physically returned. Cuccinelli received a catered Thanksgiving dinner at Williams's vacation home and several plane trips around the country to help support Republican candidates in other states in addition to the nutritional supplements.
When Democrats challenged that he should return the value of the gifts in cash, Cuccinelli said that as a father of seven, he was not in a financial position to come up with that kind of money quickly.
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