Thursday, January 30, 2014

Part I: What the government didn't say in the McDonnell indictment

... was that an outside audit confirmed that Star Scientific and Jonnie Williams received nothing of value.

While media outlets are splashing sensational headlines about the government indictment, they are short on facts or the law, and ignore the McDonnells' side of the story. It's been interesting to follow the details of this case that are ignored by many in the mainstream media ... the piling on has overtaken the good this man has done for decades which some will feel is deserved. I don't happen to be one of them.

The Restoration Fund, Bob McDonnell's legal team, is reviewing the government's allegations and how far short they fall under serious analysis. Following is Part I of their assessment.

PART I:  What the Government indictment failed to mention is that.......
Outside Audit Confirms:  Williams & Star Received Nothing

April 29th, the Washington Post reported, and subsequently buried on paragraph 14,  that a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has already confirmed that "Star Scientific" has not received a dime in state incentive grants or any other financial incentive under the McDonnell Administration.[1]  This critical information has already been subjected to numerous FOIA requests yet it has been largely ignored by the media and under-reported to the people of Virginia.

On July 18th, an external audit report was conducted by former Democratic Attorney General Anthony Troy to determine  a) whether Jonnie Williams or any of his affiliated businesses, including Star Scientific, Inc., (collectively, "Star Scientific) received any "public funds, grants, contracts or appointments" and b) whether any gubernatorial appointments were made to any officers or employees of Star Scientific.

This audit report vindicated Governor McDonnell and concluded:

§  A) Neither Jonnie Williams or any officer or employee of Star Scientific received a single grant, contract or a dollar of funds from the Officer of the Governor, the State Department of Health, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Secretary of Agriculture, any universities under the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Public Safety or Secretary of Technology.  In short, this audit confirmed that Star Scientific received nothing of value from the McDonnell Administration

§  B) Neither Jonnie Williams or any officer or employee of Star Scientific has ever been appointed to a Commonwealth board or commission.

[1] "Star Scientific does not appear to have received state incentive grants or other financial assistance during McDonnell's term, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the leading state agency that manages such programs." - Washington Post, April 29, 2013

Bob McDonnell has been subjected to selective leaks, shoddy reporting, and a media that ignores critical facts in attempt to destroy a man with over four decades of public services to America and the Commonwealth. Whether this is another disturbing patter from the Eric Holder Justice Department to attack, smear and investigate successful Republican Governors remains to be seen.

The facts remain that outside groups and audits have confirmed that Star Scientific nor Jonnie Williams received any tangible benefit.  It is a shame the media has failed the general public in omitting or diminishing these critical facts.

The Restoration Fund

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