Shelby DeHaven, ‘Doah Managing Editor
January 29, 2014
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen were indicted on Tuesday, Jan. 21 on 14 counts of corruption. Bob McDonnell was the 71st Governor of Virginia, serving his term from Jan. 2010 to Jan. 2014. This charges include taking “thousands of dollars of gifts, loans and perks from Jonnie R. Williams,” according to Slate.com. It is believed that the “McDonnells allegedly used the governor’s office to ‘legitimize, promote and obtain research studies’ to benefit Williams’ sketchy dietary supplement company, Star Scientific.”
The complete list of gifts includes: a sum no less than $140,805.46; black and white Louis Vuitton shoes; two gold Oscar de la Renta dresses; two sets of golf clubs; two iPhones; 30 boxes of Anatabloc; and so much more. The couple failed to disclose the loans and stock purchases and allegedly tried to cover it up when federal investigators began to probe says Stale.com.
This is not the first time that the McDonnells had gotten into money trouble. In June of 2013, they were subject of a Washington Post article detailing improper spending at the Executive Mansion. This list included items like energy drinks, dog food and a detox cleanse.
A month later in July 2013, McDonnell reimbursed the state for about $2,400 for food and other items that the governor’s three children had removed from the mansion to take to their college dorms, according to the Washington Post.
Currently the Commonwealth of Virginia does not a limit on the amount of gifts that their politicians receive as long as they disclose what they receive. Slate states, “The most obvious is that the Commonwealth of Virginia’s laughable historic claims that it requires no ethics laws because its politicians never get caught breaking its nonexistent ethics laws.”
Terry McAuliffe, who took office after McDonnell, issued an executive order setting a gift acceptance cap of $100 and allocating funds for a state ethics commission this past week.
Bob McDonnell and his wife are still pleading not guilty.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “a conviction could put the couple behind bars for decades and come with more than $1 million in fines.”