He found two other gifts he should have disclosed, neither from Williams: a chartered flight worth $7,751 for himself and his parents to Southwest Virginia, where Cuccinelli gave a speech, provided by Alpha Natural Resources; and transportation worth $795 from the Federation of American Coal, Energy and Security.
Until recently, Cuccinelli owned stock in Star, a former cigarette maker that makes the nutritional supplement Anatabloc from a substance found in tobacco. Cuccinelli initially failed to disclose his stock holdings but corrected what he said was an oversight last year, before the company came under media scrutiny.
Democrats contend that Cuccinelli had conflicts of interests in two cases tied to the Star executive: a civil lawsuit that Star brought to challenge a state tax assessment, and a felony embezzlement case against a former chef at the governor’s mansion.
Cuccinelli recently sought to recuse his office from both. He announced April 4 that he would hand off Star’s tax-assessment lawsuit to private attorneys. This week, his office announced it would seek recusal from the case of the mansion chef. That came two days after the chef, Todd Schneider, who catered Cailin McDonnell’s wedding reception at the mansion in June 2011, indicated in a legal motion that he intends to raise questions about Williams’s gifts to the McDonnell family as part of his defense.
Cuccinelli said that line of defense would complicate his office’s efforts to prosecute the case because he acts as the governor’s lawyer.
Cuccinelli’s campaign called Richmond area reporters to the office of the state Republican Party on Friday afternoon to announce that he had failed to report some gifts. In response to a question, Cuccinelli disclosed that a total of five members of his office had stayed temporarily at another house owned by Williams, that one in suburban Richmond.
The Post had previously reported that Cuccinelli and at least two members of his staff had stayed there right after he was elected attorney general, while they were settling into their new jobs in Richmond.
Cuccinelli also said that he would support tighter rules governing gifts to public officials, including eliminating the loophole that allows gifts to their immediate relatives to go unreported. He also said that the attorney general, who has oversight over financial disclosures for elected officials, should not be responsible for reviewing his own form, which is the case now. In that spirit, he said, he asked the Richmond commonwealth’s attorney to review his disclosures.
Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.