McDonnell says tobacco commission needs improvements
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said Monday that the tobacco commission has made some necessary changes following a $4 million theft, but more may be necessary to protect millions of dollars earmarked for the most economically depressed areas of the state.
"They made some of them already since this has occurred over the last five years,'' he said in his first public comments about the theft. "I think overall the commission is well run. But still there's room for improvement."
McDonnell's office is reviewing what changes -- including legislative ones -- might be necessary.
"Our staffs have been in contact on that to look at ways we can improve trust and accountability,'' he said.
John W. Forbes, 54, secretary of finance under Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R), was sentenced to 10 years in prison last week for defrauding the commission of $4 million. He received a $5 million grant for the Literary Foundation of Virginia, which he founded as a charitable organization, but later admitted that he used $4 million of the money for a new home, personal investments, cash and to start a company.
McDonnell stopped by the executive committee of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission to ask the commission to help lure an unnamed California-based company to Virginia. Other states, including Mississippi, are also in the running for the company.
| November 29, 2010; 4:10 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell
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