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Virginia governor's mansion chef pleads no contest to embezzlement

Sept. 18, 2013 at 4:18 PM   |   Comments

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Former Virginia governor's mansion chef Todd Schneider pleaded no contest Wednesday to two misdemeanor embezzlement charges in Richmond Circuit Court.

He had been charged with four felony counts for allegedly taking state property from the state's Executive Mansion, where he worked for two years until 2012. In a plea bargain, he was ordered to pay $2,300 in restitution and court courts, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported. Two six-month jail sentences were suspended, the newspaper said.

Schneider maintained he had been given some of the items he took from the mansion's kitchen in return for uncompensated catering he did for the governor and his wife.

The case is one part of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's gift-giving scandal. Schneider alleged McDonnell improperly took state property, and those allegations turned into a probe into McDonnell's dealings with Jonnie Williams Sr., chief executive of Star Scientific Inc.

McDonnell returned gifts he received from Williams, and last week state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli donated $18,000 to charity, an amount equal to gifts he received from Williams, the newspaper said.

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