A Relationship in Question
Thu July 18, 2013
Governor's Actions Under Fire
The relationship between Governor Bob McDonnell and Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams is at the center of state and federal investigations with allegations of improper gifts from Williams to McDonnell.
Back in April the Governor said during an interview on WTOP radio that Jonnie Williams was a family friend who received no special treatment.
"I think it's important that the people of Virginia know that nothing has been done with regards to my relationship with Williams or his company Star Scientific, to give any kind of special benefits to him or his company."
With that said, the Washington Post is reporting that an e-mail they obtained through a FOIA request indicated McDonnell did have a hand in setting up an appointment between Williams and the state’s secretary of health and human resources, Bill Hazel.
The email from McDonnell’s scheduler, Monica Block, to William’s assistant says, “This email is to confirm a meeting between Jonnie Williams and Secretary Bill Hazel on Thursday, November 4th at 9:00 am,”
Hazel confirmed in an interview with the Washington Post that the meeting occurred and that governor McDonnell asked him if he would talk to “his wife’s friend Jonnie Williams.”
Hazel said, he told the governor he had talked to him but that he came away from the meeting not knowing what Williams wanted.
McDonnell’s spokesman Tucker Martin says there is nothing unusual about the governor asking a state official to talk with someone.