Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Tuesday repaid loans made to his wife and a family business by Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, a donor at the center of a FBI investigation into the state's First Family.
McDonnell apologized for the entire episode and continued to insist that nothing he did was illegal under Virginia law. In addition to the loans, Williams paid for vacations, a Rolex, clothes and dental work for McDonnell and his wife, First Lady Maureen McDonnell, according to reports, and picked up the $15,000 tab of their daughter’s wedding.
Virginia state law does not require elected officials to report gifts to family members, though past chief executives have included such gifts on disclosure forms.
“I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment certain members of my family and I brought upon my beloved Virginia and her citizens. I want you to know that I broke no laws and that I am committed to regaining your sacred trust and confidence,” McDonnell said. "I hope today’s action is another step toward that end.”
The repayment to Williams includes a $52,278 loan for Maureen McDonnell in 2011 and $71,837 in two additional loans to a business owned by McDonnell and his sister. According to statement, the loans include both principal and interest and were repaid by McDonnell, his family and their businesses.
A federal probe continues into whether Williams was granted any quid quo pro in exchange for gifts to the McDonnells.