News Column

McDonnell testifies he saw nothing wrong with loans

August 22, 2014

By Bill Sizemore, The Virginian-Pilot

Aug. 22--RICHMOND -- Testifying for the third day in his public corruption trial, former Gov. Bob McDonnell said today he saw nothing inappropriate about $70,000 in loans he negotiated with businessman Jonnie Williams in 2012.

The loans were extended by the diet supplement maker to a real estate company the governor operated with his sister to manage rental properties they owned in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach. Rents on the properties were falling short of covering expenses, and the McDonnells needed to make up the deficit.

McDonnell said he saw nothing wrong with the loans because Williams hadn't asked him to do anything on his behalf and his administration hadn't done the businessman any favors.

Williams testified earlier that he and the governor agreed that the loans would be granted on a handshake and kept just between the two of them.

McDonnell today denied that claim. "There was no such discussion with Mr. Williams," he said.

He said he tried to get the terms of the loans in writing, but that never occurred.

He said he did not disclose the Williams loans on his annual financial disclosure statement because they were corporate loans for which he had no personal liability.

McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are charged with soliciting more than $177,000 in loans, gifts and other favors from Williams in exchange for promoting his business from the governor's mansion.


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Source: Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA)

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