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    Witness: Ex-Va. first lady touted state businesses

    A defense witness says former first lady Maureen McDonnell often traveled the state promoting Virginia businesses, countering the notion that she gave special treatment to the dietary supplement company at the heart of her corruption trial.

    Former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife are accused in federal court of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for using their office to promote his tobacco-based supplement, Anatabloc.

    On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Todd Haymore testified that he often traveled the state with Maureen McDonnell to promote Virginia's wine industry, sometimes promoting specific companies by name.

    Prosecutors argue that the McDonnells gave special treatment to Williams' company by setting up meetings for him and hosting an event for him at the governor's mansion.
    Comments

    I hope we don’t end up reading about instances of payoffs, payola or excessive gifting from Virginia’s wine industry and our former first couple.

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    Loudoun Business Journal - Summer 2014

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