Cuccinelli will open special account to hold funds from troubled charity director
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II announced this evening that he will set aside $55,500 in campaign funds into a restricted account, pending the outcome of an investigation into the United States Navy Veterans Association.
The sum is equal to donations made to Cuccinelli during his fall campaign by Bobby Thompson, a director of the group. The group is under investigation by Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which regulates state charities. It is also under investigation in three other states, probes that began after a six-month project by the St. Petersburg Times in Florida revealed irregularities with the charity's operations.
The newspaper, for instance, was able to locate only one of 85 directors and officers of the group of effort. The Roanoke Times has also reported that a Virginia charity that the group had claimed it supported monetarily never received any donations from it.
Other Virginia politicians who had also received donations from Thompson, including Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), said they would turn over those donations to legitimate veterans charities. Cuccinelli had been under significant pressure from Democrats to do the same but had resisted, indicating he would give up Thompson's money if he were convicted of misappopriating funds.
In tonight's statement, Cuccinelli political director Noah Wall said that his campaign has attempted to clarify the charity's actions and has made "ongoing, unsuccessful attempts" to reach members of its board. He said Cuccinelli has now decided he should set aside Thompon's donations until the investigation into the group is complete.
Wall's full statement:
The Ken Cuccinelli for Attorney General campaign committee announced today that it had set aside $55,500 in campaign contributions into a separate, restricted account, pending the outcome of an investigation into the United States Navy Veterans Association (USNVA).
In recent weeks, the campaign has undertaken a concerted effort to clarify the nature of the USNVA and its charitable activities, including ongoing, unsuccessful attempts to make contact with several members of the USNVA board. At this stage, the campaign has determined that the best course of action is to set aside the funds received from Mr. Thompson and await the completion of the ongoing investigation of him and the USNVA by the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs before taking further action.
The campaign reiterated that its understanding is that the donations in question were made from the personal funds of Bobby Thompson. However, if it is determined that funds were misappropriated from the USNVA to Bobby Thompson the campaign will donate those contributions to military support organizations here in Virginia.
June 17, 2010; 6:40 PM ET
Categories: Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman
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