Richmond, VA – After weeks of controversy around his shady relationship with drug and tobacco company Star Scientific and CEO Jonnie Williams, Ken Cuccinelli finally stepped into public to answer questions about the scandal. He could have explained why his office sat on a million dollar tax lawsuit for nearly two years, or why he didn’t recuse himself from the suit because he owned stock in the company.
He could have apologized for failing to disclose those stock holdings in accordance with Virginia law, or for buying more Star Scientific stock, even as he was supposed to be defending Virginians in a tax lawsuit against the company.
Instead however, yesterday Cuccinelli looked Virginians in the eye and told them he doesn’t even think he did anything wrong.
REPORTER: Mr. Attorney General, just real quickly on Star Scientific. There’s been a lot of talk, perhaps it was a conflict of interest after they sued the state of Virginia-the Washington Post reports you purchased more stock. Was it a conflict of interest?
CUCCINELLI: No. And the Washington Post had also reported that there didn’t appear to be anything wrong. So we carry these cases forward, it was a pretty ordinary case. After you all reported on it, we were-we had the benefit of two incredibly experienced attorneys stepping forward and saying we’re doing for free.
To view video of Cuccinelli’s comments click here: http://wtvr.com/2013/04/17/cuc…
“As Attorney General, it’s Ken Cuccinelli’s job to represent the taxpayers, not his own investments,” said DPVA Chair Charniele Herring. “For Ken Cuccinelli to say that its completely fine for him to buy stock in a company that is suing the Commonwealth for over a million dollars in unpaid taxes is simply outrageous. It is shocking that Ken Cuccinelli thinks its ethical for him to put his own financial interests in direct odds with the Commonwealth he is supposed to be defending. This has gone beyond recusal or resignation, Ken Cuccinelli is now openly promoting the end of ethical standards for Virginia’s top lawyer.”