Timeline: McDonnell's involvement with Star Scientific
JAN. 16, 2010
Maureen and Bob McDonnell. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)
Robert F. McDonnell sworn in as 71st governor of Virginia. Star Scientifichad contributed more than $28,500 of in-kind air travel to his 2009 campaign. The company would also give more than $80,000 in air travel to his political action committee in 2010 and 2011.
DEC. 29, 2010
McDonnell signs a contract for catering for his daughter Cailin’s wedding, making him financially responsible for the food. He pays the first of two $3,974.25 deposits.
JAN. 31, 2011
McDonnell pays a second $3,974.25 deposit for the wedding catering.
SOMETIME IN APRIL OR MAY 2011
Jonnie Williams. (AP)
Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. takes Maureen McDonnell on a $15,000 clothing shopping trip in New York City.
MAY 23, 2011
A check drawn from a trust controlled by Williams and signed by his assistant is made out to the catering company for food at the wedding of Cailin McDonnell. The governor later says the money was a wedding present to Cailin. Williams writes a second $50,000 check from the trust made out to Maureen McDonnell. Sources say McDonnell viewed the money as a loan.
JUNE 1, 2011
Maureen McDonnell speaks to a group of doctors and investors meeting in Florida to learn more about the science behind Star Scientific’s new dietary supplement. She tells the group she believes Anatabloc could be used to lower health-care costs and publicly offers the Executive Mansion for the product’s launch party when it comes to market.
JUNE 4, 2011
Cailin McDonnell and Chris Young. (Mike Topham via the Governor's Office)
Cailin McDonnell marries Chris Young, with a reception at the 200-year old Executive Mansion. Guests feast on poached jumbo shrimp and free-range chicken without knowing they came courtesy of Williams.
JUNE 6, 2011
The catering company writes a $3,532.60 check to Maureen McDonnell, a reimbursement because the Williams check on top of deposits made by the governor overpaid the catering bill.
JULY 28, 2011
Jonnie Williams's Ferrari. (Obtained by The Washington Post)
The McDonnell family spends a long weekend at Williams’s vacation home at Smith Mountain Lake near Roanoke. When the trip ends, the McDonnells borrow Williams’s Ferrari to drive back to Richmond. The car retails for $190,000.
AUG. 1, 2011
Star Scientific's Anatabloc dietary supplement. (PRNewswire via AP)
Williams meets with a top official from the Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, where he pitches Anatabloc and proposes a study of whether use of the non-FDA inflammatory results in a reduction in health costs among state employees. Just before the beginning of the meeting, which had been arranged by Maureen McDonnell, a source says the first lady admired Williams’s Rolex and told him how great it would be if he would buy her a similar one she could give her husband.
AUG. 14, 2011
Williams purchases a $6,500 Rolex.
AUG. 29, 2011
Top McDonnell aides learn the governor is scheduled to attend a launch event for Anatabloc at the mansion the next day and express concern over e-mail. “Are we sure we can do something like this?” writes one. “You were exactly right to be suspicious,” responds another.
AUG. 30, 2011
Star Scientific press release.
Despite those concerns, the luncheon goes forward at the mansion. The first lady serves as a host of the event. The governor also attends, he has said, to recognize the company for giving research grants to state universities. The company touts the event in a news release about Anatabloc’s launch.
SEPT. 24, 2011
Williams attends the American Cancer Society’s Cure by Design fundraiser as a guest of the McDonnells, sitting at their table.
OCT. 18, 2011
Online investors advertise that Maureen McDonnell will be a special guest at a dinner event intended to tout the science behind Anatabloc at a Richmond hotel.
OCT. 22, 2011
A similar event is held in Flint, Mich. Virginia State Police logs indicate that members of the executive protection detail were in the city the same day. The governor’s calendar shows he was in Washington. It is unclear if Maureen McDonnell attended a similar event five days later in California.
JAN. 3, 2012
McDonnell wears a Rolex during an interview in his office. (AP)
The governor wears the Rolex during an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He tells the newspaper it was a Christmas gift from his wife. Sources say the watch is engraved "71st Governor of Virginia."
FEB. 10, 2012
Todd Schneider. (AP)
Mansion chef Todd Schneider is interviewed for the first time by Virginia State Police and FBI agents about accusations he has diverted state-owned food from the mansion for use in his private business. He is fired shortly after.
FEB. 29, 2012
Williams is allowed to play a key organizing role in a reception of the governor’s mansion for health-care leaders and top state lawmakers, recommending doctors he believes should be invited and bringing several Star employees.
Williams writes a $50,000 check from his trust to MoBo Real Estate Partners, a corporation owned by McDonnell and his sister. He later gives MoBo an additional $20,000. Sources say McDonnell viewed the money as loans to the corporation.
MARCH 21, 2012
Schneider provides documents to a lawyer with the Virginia Office of the Attorney General and Virginia State Police troopers showing that Williams paid for the wedding catering and McDonnell signed the contract.
NOV. 7, 2012
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II secretly asks Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring to conduct a review of McDonnell’s annual financial disclosures. Virginia law requires the attorney general to ask for such a review by a local prosecutor if he determines there is “reasonable basis” to conclude that an elected official knowingly violated disclosure laws.
Williams gives McDonnell's eldest daughter, Jeanine McDonnell, a check for $10,000 as a wedding present.
Star Scientific, its executives and officers receive federal subpoenas from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia seeking documents. The company informs investors in March that it believes the government’s investigation is “principally focused” on securities transactions dating to 2006, including “private placements” and “related party transactions.”
MARCH 29, 2013
McDonnell’s relationship with Williams becomes public with a Washington Post article detailing the executive’s payment for the wedding and some of the efforts taken on behalf of the company by the McDonnells. A steady stream of other revelations, including the existence of the state and federal investigations, follows.
APRIL 30, 2013
In a radio interview with WTOP, McDonnell insists that “there’s nothing going on at all that impairs my ability … to serve the people of Virginia.” He says he understands the questions about the wedding payment but insists that Star Scientific received no special benefits from his administration.
JULY 23, 2013
McDonnell announces he has repaid more than $120,000 in loans made by Williams to his wife and a small real estate corporation the governor owns with his sister. He apologizes for the first time, saying he is "deeply sorry for the embarrassment certain members of my family and I brought upon my beloved Virginia and her citizens."
JULY 30, 2013
McDonnell says he will return all gifts he has received from businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. and indicated for the first time that he was not aware of everything the Star Scientific executive had given to his family.