June 19, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The FBI is investigating the circumstances of former Democratic state Sen. Phil Puckett's departure from the General Assembly, according to a person with direct knowledge of the probe and a state official.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch first reported the federal investigation into Puckett's resignation, a move that gave control of the state Senate to Republicans and dealt a serious setback to Governor Terry McAuliffe's push to expand Medicaid eligibility.
When he resigned, Puckett was under consideration for a high-level job with the GOP-controlled Virginia tobacco commission. Some Democrats accused Puckett of making a back-room deal with Republicans, which Puckett and GOP lawmakers have strongly denied.
A state official familiar with the probe also confirmed the investigation. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation.