Governor’s ex-chef fights back in court

Posted at 7:02 AM, May 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-02 12:17:10-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Lawyers for the former chef at the Virginia Executive Mansion plan to file legal motions during a hearing at the John Marshall courthouse in Richmond on Thursday.

Former executive chef Todd Schneider is accused of embezzlement - stealing food and supplies from the kitchen at the Governor's Mansion.

Schneider's lawyers will ask that the charges against their client be tossed out of court. The lawyers will argue Schneider went to investigators about Governor McDonnell and his family's relationship with donor and Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. They said Virginia General, and gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli took on the case knowing that he himself has ties to Williams which could present a conflict of interest.

Schneider claims the food he took was part of a deal he worked out with the Governor and that he took the food in lieu of payment.

In the motions, Schneider's lawyers will ask for documentation for times when the chef was not paid for his work and for times when members of Governor Bob McDonnell's
family took food and supplies from the kitchen.

[CLICK HERE to read the motions]

"It's directly relevant to try to get all this information showing a common practice within the Governor's Mansion that their food items were given in exchange for services and all these other exchanges that the defense is saying occurred at the Governor's Mansion," CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said.

The Office for Attorney General released a statement calling the motions an attempt to politicize the case.

CBS 6 caught up with Governor Bob McDonnell at his monthly radio interview with WRVA Radio.  Since part of the matter is working it's way through the courts, the governor said he wished he could say more about the situation, but had to keep his answers brief.

"I certainly understand the concerns that have been raised," said McDonnell.

After his radio interview, CBS 6's Joe St. George spoke with McDonnell.  Tune in to CBS 6 News at six to see the governor's answers regarding this situation.