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As career hits the fan, VA Gov. McDonnell goes on vacation

By   /   July 12, 2013  /   4 Comments

AP photo

GETTING OUT OF DOGDE: Facing a growing scandal over his financial relationship with a controversial donor, Gov. Bob McDonnell will be on vacation for the next week.

ALEXANDRIA—What do you do when your political career seems to be imploding? Go on vacation.

That’s what Virginia’s embattled Gov. Bob McDonnell is doing.

The Republican governor, asked to resign by at least two state senators and plenty of outside observers after a devastating Washington Post story revealed more alleged, undisclosed financial gifts from a controversial donor, is vacationing with his family the week of Saturday, July 13 through Friday, July 19, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach, according to Press Secretary Taylor Keeney.

Keeney did not answer Watchdog.org’s questions as to how long the trip was in the planning and whether the governor will be in his office at all next week.

McDonnell’s press team passed along the initial memo in the governor’s public schedule emailed to reporters each Friday afternoon. No public events were listed.

Reports of McDonnell’s gift-filled relationship with Jonnie Williams, the CEO of a dietary supplement company under federal investigation, had been piling up — a $15,000 wedding catering bill here, a Rolex watch there. Reports of an FBI investigation into McDonnell and his wife Maureen broke in late April.

McDonnell said the gifts didn’t have to be legally reported under Virginia’s loose gift and disclosure laws, which make reporting exceptions for gifts from “personal friends” and gifts to family members.

But, the snowballing scandal really blew up on Tuesday night, when The Washington Post reported an additional $120,000 donated by Williams — an alleged $70,000 to the corporation McDonnell and his sister own, and a $50,000 check to McDonnell’s wife — none of which McDonnell directly disclosed. That brings the total of reported Williams-to-McDonnell-family gifts to $145,000 over 2011 and 2012, according to the Post.

NOTE: The original version of this blog post incorrectly said McDonnell and his family are vacationing in Camp Pendleton, California. They will be in the Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach, not the one in coastal California.

— Kathryn Watson 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kathryn Watson is an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org's Virginia Bureau. Her work has appeared in places like Drudge Report, Washington Examiner, Reason and Human Events, and she has made appearances on Fox News and NBC4. An alumna of the National Journalism Center, Katie is a member of Investigative Reporters Editors. She graduated with a journalism degree and highest honors from Biola University in L.A., where she ran the student newspaper. After college, she reported for a mid-sized newspaper in Santa Barbara, Calif. Her work has earned her "Best in Show" and two first-place awards from the Virginia Press Association.

  • billbo_66

    So what does this mean? Many are saying this is his farewell. Is he resigning?

  • Frank McEvoy

    I was in my 20s when I realized “corrupt Republican” was two words.

  • Jazzboy1

    He thought he could beat the system with his lawyerly thinking. He knew what he did – he just thought nobody could prove anything really corrupt. The family is huddling to tell the children about the impending resignation.

  • Tom Sharples

    When did you realize that “CorruptDemocrat” is one word?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwame_Kilpatrick

Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau, is in no way affiliated with "The Virginia Watchdog". Any similarities between Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau and "The Virginia Watchdog" is completely coincidental and unintentional. Any inquiries into "The Virginia Watchdog" may be done through their site.

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