Virginia first lady owned Star Scientific stock

Posted at 10:48 AM, Aug 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-18 11:18:06-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- It is a political scandal that continues to thicken in the Commonwealth of Virginia - Governor Bob McDonnell's relationship with Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.

After several weeks of positive press for the Governor during a tour of the Commonwealth, the scandal went back to front page news Friday night after lawyers for the McDonnell family revealed First Lady Maureen McDonnell owned Star Scientific stock at various times between 2011 and 2012.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell (PHOTO: Jesse Burkett)

"Mrs. McDonnell's transactions in Star Scientific stock were entirely lawful. The decision to purchase the stock was hers alone, she did not consult with the Governor. Mrs. McDonnell, at the time she bought the stock, believed in the company and its products. She thought it would be a good investment over the long term," William Burck, an attorney for Mrs. McDonnell, told CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George.

Governor McDonnell has been at the center of a state and federal investigation into whether or not Jonnie Williams or Star Scientific benefited in any way from Governor Bob McDonnell as a result of the gifts, loans, and now stock owned by the family.

For months, McDonnell has denied he gave Williams anything in return for his generosity and friendship which included loans and gifts totaling over 100,000 dollars.

McDonnell and his family have since returned all of the tangible gifts according to McDonnell officials.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli reacted to the latest development in the McDonnell scandal during a campaign stop in Glen Allen Saturday afternoon.

"I think we've said we are pretty disappointed with what we've seen - it's part of the reason I called for a special session," Cuccinelli told CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George.

Cuccinelli had called for a special session of the General Assembly to address Virginia gift and ethics laws.

When asked by St. George whether or not he has asked the Governor to stay off the campaign trail for him, Cuccinelli told St. George "I do not reveal my private conversations with the governor."

CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth says this story involving the first lady owning Star Scientific stock is critical to the ongoing investigation into the McDonnell's because it is the first time that the McDonnell finances have been directly linked to the success of Star Scientific.

When Governor Bob McDonnell was asked by St. George Friday if the summer long scandal has affected him physically after learning he had lost twenty pounds the Governor attributed it to "exercise."

Stay with and CBS 6 News for the latest updates on this story.