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Morning Read: Cuccinelli Wants to Be Excused From Governor's Chef Embezzlement Case

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Cuccinelli Asks out of Chef Embezzlement Case

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Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

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Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli asked a judge to recuse his office from a case in which a former chef at the Virginia governor’s mansion was charged with embezzlement.

Cuccinelli did not specify why he wanted to be excused from the case, but his request, according to the Washington Post, follows a motion that the chef, Todd Schneider, filed to seek information on gifts that Gov. Bob McDonnell and his family had accepted from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the CEO of Star Scientific.

Reports show that Williams paid the $15,000 catering bill at McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding, which Schneider catered through his private company. (McDonnell did not disclose this gift, which he was not legally required to do, since it was a gift to his family.)

Schneider’s motion also suggested McDonnell’s wife and children had taken more food, liquor and pots from the mansion’s kitchen than they were entitled to.

Williams gave Cuccinelli $13,000 in personal gifts in two years, and the attorney general’s request for recusal likely has to do with him wanting to make a break from the beleaguered company ahead of the gubernatorial election.

Star Scientific is currently the subject of a federal securities investigation and two shareholder lawsuits.

Read more here.

IN OTHER NEWS:

* After Patrick Mara, the Republican candidate the Post endorsed four times for the at-large council seat, finished in third in Monday’s election, District Republicans expressed concerns about the future of their party in local elections. (Washington Post)

* “[Anita] Bonds’ victory will likely lead to plenty of hand-wringing among self-style[d] progressive and/or reform voters, who often tend to be white and relatively new to the city and have seen their votes split among several of their chosen candidates in the last three at-large elections. “ (Washington City Paper)

* In Jerusalem on his Mideast tour, Gov. O’Malley said it was “reflection time” for 2016. (Associated Press)

* The District’s ethics board is asking lawmakers for increased authority to “send a message that ethics reform is active and ongoing." (Washington Examiner)

* Text messages sent by District lawmakers and officials on government cell phones are not subject to public records request, despite the fact that taxpayer money is paying for the phones. (DCist)

* Terry McAuliffe’s newly released tax documents show that he made $8.3 million in 2011 from business earnings, investments and other income. (Roanoke Times)

* With “Women for Herring,” Virginia Democratic attorney general candidate Mark Herring is trying to win the female voters that AG Cuccinelli may have upset during his tenure. (Patch)

* Deleware, West Virginia and Pennsylvania are bracing for expected revenue losses at their casinos as Maryland’s casino industry expands. (Washington Examiner)

* Anne Arundel is investigating complaints that Police Chief Larry Tolliver demoted officers who testified against former County Executive John R. Leopold, who resigned in February following conviction on two counts of misconduct. (News4)

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