CEO's Assistant Testifies at Corruption Trial

Jul 30, 2014

Jerri Fulkerson at the courthouse in Richmond.

Day Three in the trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, opened up with testimony from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams' assistant, Jerri Fulkerson.

She testified that not only did the former first couple accept lavish gifts from her boss, but their children also received favors.

Fulkerson says she signed off on trips in which the McDonnells flew to the Homestead, and to Cape Cod with the Williams. McDonnell's daughter and a friend enjoyed time away in Florida at Williams’ expense. Williams also funded a trip for two daughters to Georgia, complete with one of their benefactor's vehicles.

There were also numerous golf outings, gifts, and loans provided to the family. But defense attorneys sought to debunk the quid pro quo argument, pointing out that McDonnell was not the only politician who benefited from Williams' generosity— since he provided private plane trips to former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and others. Fulkerson did testify that her boss was very generous, and he bestowed lavish gifts on many private individuals as well.  

Prosecutors say the McDonnells are the only political family whose children received benefits. The defense also says that Fulkerson colluded with investigators because her boss was connected to illegal activity.  Fulkerson admitted to signing documents on Williams’ behalf—although it was not legal to do so.