April 10, 2013
Governor Bob McDonnell is defending a $15,000 wedding gift from the owner of Star Scientific.
The money came from Johnnie Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Star Scientific, which is headquartered in Henrico, Virginia.
Williams' attorney said the $15,000 gift was to pay for catering at Cailin McDonnell's wedding.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday it obtained the catering contract signed by McDonnell, including notes he made to the caterer. The newspaper reports that McDonnell paid nearly $8,000 in deposits for the catering. His wife received a more than $3,500 refund for catering overpayment.
McDonnell said he did not publicly disclose the gift because the money went to his daughter and no to him.
"I have been doing this for 22 years," said Gov. McDonnell. "The gifts that come to me I regularly, diligently report those as a statement of economic interest done annually. But gifts that come to other family members, under the current law, are not reportable."
Governor and First Lady Maureen McDonnell have both supported Star Scientific, including hosting an event at the Governor's Mansion, where the company's products were featured.
McDonnell said, this is similar to other activities he has taken in the past to assist publicly traded companies in Virginia.