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Cuccinelli: No Plans to Give Back $18K in Gifts

The Republican nominee for governor said Wednesday he won't return gifts from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.

Virginia Attorney Gen. and 2013 Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli (Photo by James Cullum)
Virginia Attorney Gen. and 2013 Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli (Photo by James Cullum)

While Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has spent the last couple of weeks giving back thousands of dollars gifts to Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said Wednesday he intends to do no such thing with the $18,000 in gifts he also received from the executive.

The Washington Post reports Cuccinelli, Republican candidate for governor, told reporters in Richmond Wednesday that he’s pleased the governor is returning gifts from Williams, but that he wouldn’t be doing the same.

“There are some bells you can’t unring,” Cuccinelli said.

According to disclosure reports, Williams has given Cuccinelli a number of gifts, including a catering for a $1,500 Thanksgiving dinner, flights on a private jet and vacation lodging.

Cuccinelli failed to disclose the gifts at first, but amended his reports. Michael Herring, a Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney, released a report last month that found Cuccinelli had broken no laws.

That hasn’t stopped Democrats and supporters of Terry McAuliffe, Cuccinelli’s opponent in the 2013 election, from demanding Cuccinelli give back the gifts.

“Ken Cuccinelli should admit he was wrong, reimburse Williams for the gifts that created the scandal, and apologize for tarnishing Virginia's reputation for clean and transparent government,” said state Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun), Democratic candidate for attorney general, in a statement this week.

The Cuccinelli campaign has repeatedly dismissed the claims, instead trying to link McAuliffe and his former green-energy car company, GreenTech Automotive, to a federal investigation.

joe brewer August 02, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Would it be awful funny if Ken had to prosecute Gov. Bob for accepting bribes. If it was wrong for Gov. Bob to accept the gifts then it should be against the law to give them also.

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