Virginians billed yet another $100k for legal services
In the continuing saga of the “gift that just keeps on giving,” Virginians are again fleeced by the greedy behavior of Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Now another law firm has billed the State of Virginia, and thus the people, for another $100,000 in legal fees surrounding the fired chef from the governor’s mansion.
Firing former executive mansion chef Todd Schneider was probably one of the most costly political decisions in Virginia history. Schneider has been accused and charged with stealing food from the executive mansion. Schneider maintains that he was directed to take food in exchange for services he performed at various private parties and catered functions hosted by the Governor. Schneider revealed just how far the blur between public and private services extended. The entire Jonnie Williams/McDonnell/Cuccinelli scandal has come to the forefront and has tainted the entire McDonnell administration.
Because Cuccinelli was also involved with Star Scientific and had accepted gifts from the CEO, Jonnie Williams, he recused himself and his office from all legalities involving the scandal. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch:
The Virginia Attorney General’s Office has retained a second law firm related to the criminal case against a former Executive Mansion chef and it has already billed the state nearly $100,000.
That comes on top of $143,598 that the first firm, Eckert Seamans, has billed taxpayers related to its representation of Gov. Bob McDonnell and his office in the chef’s case.
The international firm Baker & McKenzie LLP was appointed July 3 to represent state employees in their official capacity regarding a criminal case alleging embezzlement by the former chef, a spokesman for McDonnell confirmed Tuesday.
In April, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office appointed Eckert Seamans to represent McDonnell and his office in matters related to the criminal case.
The appointment of the outside firms was made necessary by a conflict that the Attorney General’s Office had in the case of the former chef, Todd Schneider, whose trial is set for mid-October.
Can we just say that because these elected officials exercised incredibly poor judgement and the people of Virginia have gotten a huge bill for legal fees that could have been avoided? Schneider, in essence, became a whistle blower on questionable behavior on the part of the governor. He accepted gifts, food, catering costs, trips, cash etc. that had direct bearing on the Todd Schneider case. Schneider sang like a canary and the house that Bob built has been tumbling to the ground ever since.
I resent this greed and self indulgent avarice that has cost Virginia monetarily and has cause my state to be the laughing stock of the late night comedy shows. Surely Cuccinelli has proven he is no fiscal conservative. He has made a charitable contribution to the tune of $18,000 to ‘repay’ for the perks he took in the form gifts from Jonnie Williams. Does that make it alright? I say no. Cuccinelli gets a big tax write off for charity and Virginia gets the screws put to it, again. The Washington Post reports:
RICHMOND — Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II said he will give a Richmond-based charity more than $18,000 — the value of gifts he received from a Star Scientific executive whose much larger presents to Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his family are the focus of two investigations.
Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor, has been under pressure from critics and supporters to pay back Star chief executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. since late July, when McDonnell (R) announced that he would return valuables and money that Williams had provided to him and his family.
Cuccinelli should have known better. He wastes our money while padding his own pockets with luxury items most of us simply can’t touch.