“They used the company plane to get from A to Z all the time,” Kilgore said.
There were personal gifts, as well. On his financial disclosure forms, McDonnell said he had received more than $9,600 worth of food, lodging, transportation and entertainment from the company and from Williams in 2011 and 2012.
Elected officials in Virginia are allowed to accept gifts, provided they disclose those worth more than $50. Gifts to family members don’t have to be disclosed, nor do gifts from a relative or “personal friend.”
The food at McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding was provided by Seasonings Fine Catering and Event Planning, a Richmond company owned by Todd Schneider, whom the McDonnells hired to serve as the mansion’s executive chef in 2010. Schneider, a well-known Richmond personality who had trained with Martha Stewart, left his mansion job in 2011 amid a state police investigation into alleged improprieties involving kitchen operations. He was recently indicted on four embezzlement charges. He declined to comment through his attorney.
Kilgore said Williams wanted to make sure that the wedding “day was special.”
“It’s not out of the ordinary for Jonnie to be a generous person.”
At the time of the wedding, a McDonnell spokesman said the family had paid for the event. But Caldwell now says that McDonnell’s daughter and her fiance decided to pay for the wedding expenses and that the gift from Williams helped them cover much of the cost of food.
He said McDonnell doesn't know whether other wedding expenses were paid through gifts to the couple.
In financial filings, Star Scientific has made clear that it needs Anatabloc to be a success.
This month, the company reported that it had lost $22.9 million in 2012, the 10th consecutive year Star had lost money. The company slashed its workforce last year, part of a decision to end production of all tobacco products and focus exclusively on dietary supplements.
“Our future prospects, therefore, are dependent on the expanded distribution and consumer acceptance of our dietary supplement products and cosmetic product,” the company said in its 2012 annual report.
Star also has been fighting skeptics’ claims that the science behind Anatabloc is overstated. On Monday, a Star Scientific investor filed suit in federal court in Richmond, alleging that the company misled stock holders about Anatabloc’s promise.
Star officials declined to comment for this article, but the company, in a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, said it stands by the product and that the lawsuit is without merit.
Anatabloc combines anatabine with vitamins A and D3 to create a supplement that inhibits inflammation, according to its Web site. But the company has also suggested that the product could be useful in combating other ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease.