Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has used taxpayer money for a variety of personal services, from sunscreen to their children’s dry-cleaning to vitamins for their dogs, according to The Washington Post.
State staffers were also dispatched to run errands for the governor and his family, including retrieving pants from a tailor for McDonnell’s daughter and to pick up items at a laundry 20 miles from the governor’s mansion.
At one point, an official at the governor’s mansion requested the McDonnell’s pay back about $300 in personal costs for items such as deodorant, The Washington Post reports. The governor paid the money back but since then has continued to expense personal items to the state, the Post reports.
The revelations come at a time of increased scrutiny of McDonnell’s expenses. The FBI is currently investigating McDonnell’s relationship the CEO of Star Scientific, Jonnie Williams, who allegedly gave gifts to McDonnell, including $15,000 to help with the governor’s daughter’s wedding.
POLITICO's Emily Schultheis says the scandals could hurt the governor's political future.
“Having all these things really pile up in pretty quick succession does take a toll on his image in terms of ethics and his personal image,” she says.
Some voters are left questions.
“Anytime that somebody starts to penny pinch off the taxpayers makes you wonder maybe they have bigger things they are taking as well," says Joe Pisciotta.
On Monday, McDonnell's office released the following statement to ABC7:
“Living in the Mansion requires a constant balance between the official duties and personal family life that all occur under the same roof. In achieving that balance, this Administration has adhered to the same process and procedures as prior Administrations. The reimbursement process that is followed today is the same as the one followed in past years. In that process, the First Family reimburses for any items not covered by the Mansion after they are presented invoices on a regular basis."
"That reimbursement occurs after the spending has occurred, on a regular timetable. This article completely misstates the process and misinforms readers as to how it functions. To our knowledge, The Washington Post has never looked into Mansion operations prior to this article. The paper provides no frame of reference as to how past Administrations operated, which is the same as the current Administration.”
READ MORE at The Washington Post.