Chef's Trial Set for October

Jul 15, 2013

Chef Todd Schneider/FILE

The criminal trial of a former Executive Mansion chef accused of embezzlement will proceed as planned.  

Richmond Circuit Court Judge Margaret Spencer had considered a motion by the defense to dismiss the case against Todd Schneider.  But she's ruled  that there is no reason to do so.

The four-day trial is scheduled to run from October 15th through the 18th—just weeks before statewide elections.

Political analysts have speculated that the case could spill over into Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's campaign for Governor. 

Defense attorney Steve Benjamin asked Judge Spencer for a dismissal… alleging wrongdoing by both the Attorney General and Governor McDonnell.  Benjamin said the A-G turned a blind eye to the Governor's alleged improprieties once the defendant, Todd Schneider, made his own accusations against the Governor.  Benjamin alleged that both officials had questionable ties to embattled Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams and that his client should not have been indicted by the grand jury.  He also argued that Cuccinelli should never have been involved in the indictment process--despite the fact that the A-G has been recused from the trial.  

In her ruling, Spencer states she found no authority in Virginia supporting the defendant's position that dismissing the indictment is an appropriate remedy in the case.