Commonwealth Atty. Herring Investigating Gov. McDonnell

May 22, 2013

Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring is looking into gifts to Governor Bob McDonnell at the request of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli sent a letter last November to Herring, appointing him to review McDonnell's Statement of Economic Interest.

Herring disclosed the request, but would not provide the letter or details of the investigation.

Cuccinelli also asked Herring in April to examine his own finances, after amending them to include gifts from the owner of Star Scientific, the same man who gave gifts to McDonnell.

On Wednesday, Cuccinelli released a statement on referring Gov. McDonnell's Statement of Economic Interest filings to Herring:

"I did what I have consistently tried to do as attorney general, which is to uphold the law impartially. I made a referral to Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Herring in November 2012 to conduct an investigation into possible violations of financial disclosure provisions, as information came to my attention that triggered my requirement to look into the matter. The law also requires me to designate a commonwealth's attorney with independent discretion to investigate the matter further. My referral to Mr. Herring was not a conclusion that any violation occurred. Under the law, that conclusion will be made by Mr. Herring alone."

Former Executive Mansion chef Todd Schneider claims he told federal and state investigators last summer about gifts a wealthy businessman gave McDonnell and his family. Schneider is facing embezzlement charges for allegedly stealing from the mansion's kitchen.

The FBI also is investigating gifts to the McDonnells.

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