The Washington Post reported in late March that Cuccinelli had initially failed to disclose, as is required for Virginia elected officials, that he owned more than $10,000 in stock in a single company, Star Scientific. About a month later, Cuccinelli announced that he had not reported gifts worth $4,500 from Williams. The gifts were two stays that Cuccinelli and his family had made at Williams’s Smith Mountain Lake vacation house, one last summer and the other over Thanksgiving in 2010, when Williams also supplied a catered turkey dinner.
At that time, Cuccinelli also reported two other previously undisclosed gifts, 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.
Cuccinelli's involvement with Star Scientific
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The gifts from Williams disclosed in April were in addition to others totaling nearly $13,000 Cuccinelli had previously reported receiving from the executive or his company, including another stay at the lake house in 2011.
Democrats have made an issue of Cuccinelli’s ties to Star Scientific and Williams, whose lavish gifts to McDonnell and his family have cast a shadow on the governor’s legacy and political future. The gifts Cuccinelli received from Williams were more modest than those the executive gave to the McDonnells, which included a $15,000 shopping spree for first lady Maureen McDonnell, a $6,500 Rolex watch for the governor, and payments or loans of $145,000.
But as attorney general, Cuccinelli had legal matters before his office that complicated any entanglements with Williams and Star Scientific, including representing the state against Star Scientific in a civil case challenging a state tax assessment.
The office also began prosecuting Schneider, the former governor’s mansion chef.
Cuccinelli’s office was recently recused from the case, and the attorney general sold his stock in the company.