Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Latest Updates

July 8, 2013

Va. governor repays state for items given to kids

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Bob McDonnell has reimbursed the state nearly $2,400 for food and supplies taken by his children from the Virginia Executive Mansion kitchen since he took office in 2010.

Most of the items — cold cuts, Gatorade, paper products, laundry detergent and other pantry staples — were given to three McDonnell children when they returned to college after weekend or holiday visits. Some also was packed for vacation outings or, in one case, a trip by the parents to visit their sons.

The governor enlisted the mansion director and others to compile a list of items carted away by the children after former mansion chef Todd Schneider, who is facing embezzlement charges, accused the family of wrongdoing. No charges have been filed against anyone other than Schneider, who is charged with pilfering goods from the mansion kitchen for use by his catering company. A Richmond judge on Monday took under advisement a defense motion to dismiss the four felony counts. His trial is set for October.

Anthony F. Troy, an attorney representing McDonnell’s interests in the Schneider case, told reporters after the Monday hearing that parents typically pack food and other items for their children to take back to college with them and the governor’s family should be allowed to do the same. He described the value of items taken on each occasion as minimal.

In a memo accompanying his check, McDonnell told Dennis Johnson of the Secretary of Administration office: “My understanding from Mr. Troy’s email, and a discussion with him, is that providing all or most of these items for my children who were in college at the time, was generally permissible since the state guidelines contain no prohibition, and such expenses may be customary for first families with a returning college student. Nonetheless, the total over 3 1/2 years for my children is an invoice I will now pay to ensure that there is no question that any potential personal expense has been reimbursed.”

Almost $2,000 of the total was for food and supplies taken by the McDonnells’ sons, Sean and Bobby. About $150 of that was for this year’s spring break trip to Miami, and nearly $127 for a March 2012 parental visit. Their daughter, Rachel, received goods worth nearly $400 — some of it for a beach trip and for a move to Virginia Beach.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said the governor reimbursed the expenses “out of an abundance of caution.” He also noted in an email that the McDonnell sons each took back to college an average of $62 worth of items per trip. Rachel McDonnell returned to school each time with an average of $26 per trip

The detailed lists did not mention liquor and pots and pans that Schneider also alleged were taken from the kitchen by McDonnell family members.

Schneider also claims in court papers that the governor required him and other state employees to work private and political events. He says that in lieu of payment for those events, he was directed to take the food that he is now accused of stealing.


Text Only
Latest Updates
  • West Africa Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths

    Security forces went house-to-house in Sierra Leone’s capital Thursday looking for Ebola patients and others exposed to the disease as the death toll from the worst recorded outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West Africa.
    U.S. health officials urged Americans not to travel to the three countries hit by the medical crisis:  Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 31, 2014

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Comiskey.jpg Sterling not the only bad owner

    As the Donald Sterling era in with the Los Angeles Clippers looks to be winding down, many are calling him the worst owner in sports history. From being cheap with the players to his most recent racist comments, it's hard to argue against.
    Yet, there are a few owners of athletic teams who can give Sterling a run for title of worst in history.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1,100 layoffs planned at Alpha coal mines in W.Va.

    July 31, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • About 15 UMWA leaders arrested at EPA hearings

    July 31, 2014

  • More than 5,000 coal supporters protest EPA rules

    July 31, 2014