Reuters: Virginia Governor’s Former Chef Reaches Plea Deal

reutersVirginia governor's former chef reaches plea deal

By Gary Robertson, Reuters

RICHMOND, Va., Sept 18 (Reuters) - The former chef at the Virginia governor's mansion pleaded no contest on Wednesday to two misdemeanor embezzlement charges, averting a trial near Election Day that could have had repercussions on the race for governor.

Former chef Todd Schneider's plea agreement in Richmond Circuit Court calls for no jail time but orders him to pay the state $2,300 for food he was charged with taking.

The case came up in the midst of a federal probe of the relationship between Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican, and a major donor, Star Scientific Inc Chief Executive Jonnie Williams......

"From the standing of the Cuccinelli campaign, having this trial not take place is good news," said Stephen Farnsworth, a professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. "Having that kind of public trial in the heat of an election, calling all kinds of top Republicans to testify, none of the aspects of this case would have been good news for Republicans."

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