Judge to Rule Later This Week on Virginia Mansion Chef Embezzlement Charges
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
A Richmond judge will rule later this week on whether to dismiss embezzlement charges against a former Virginia Executive Mansion chef.
Circuit Judge Margaret Spencer heard arguments from Todd Schneider's attorney and a special prosecutor Monday.
Schneider faces four felony charges for allegedly taking food from the mansion kitchen. Schneider claims in court papers that Gov. Bob McDonnell required him to cater private events and take as payment the items he's accused of stealing. He also claims McDonnell family members took items from the kitchen.
In a motion to dismiss, the defense argued that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli should have withdrawn from the case early last year when Schneider told authorities about alleged wrongdoing by McDonnell and his family. Cuccinelli didn't withdraw until after Schneider’s indictment.
Last week, the judge rejected a defense request to subpoena Cuccinelli and one of his top assistants to testify at Monday's hearing, sparing Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor, from being compelled to answer questions in a politically explosive case less than four months before the election.
State law requires a judge's approval to subpoena the governor, attorney general or lieutenant governor. In court papers opposing the motion, Cuccinelli also cited a Virginia State Bar rule that says only a prosecutor can request a subpoena for a lawyer to testify in a case involving a current or former client, and the request must be approved by a judge.
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