Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has paid back more than $120,000 in loans made to him by Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.
The relationship between McDonnell and Williams has dogged the governor for months now after a Washington Post report publicized multiple monetary transactions and gifts between the two men. McDonnell did not disclose these transactions from Williams, a man who was also a major donor to McDonnell’s 2009 campaign for governor. An important red flag came when the governor, despite reservations from his staff, attended a lunch at the Governor’s Mansion for Star Scientific’s dietary supplement, Anatabloc.
In a statement from the governor released Tuesday McDonnell apologized for the “embarrassment” that this scrutiny and scandal has brought to members of his family and citizens of Virginia, and assured the public that he “broke no laws” in his dealings with Williams. The statement outlined the nature of the loans and said they have been paid in full.
“The repayments include $52,278 for a loan made to Mrs. McDonnell in 2011 and $71,837 for two additional loans made to small real estate business owned jointly by the Governor and his sister in 2012. The payments include both principal and interest. All monies used for repayment have come from the Governor, the family business itself, or his family.”
Governor McDonnell was once a rising star in the Republican Party–and had been mentioned for 2016’s presidential election. But recent polling showed over one-third of Virginia voters now support the idea of McDonnell stepping down as Governor of Virginia.