POLITICS

Bob McDonnell apologizes, pays back $120K in loans to Star Scientific CEO

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he and his family have paid back more than $120,000 in loans given to him and his small business by the CEO of Star Scientific.

The governor said in a statement Tuesday that he was sorry for any embarrassment he caused the state, but flatly denied breaking any laws as it pertains to campaign donations or finance.

"I am deeply sorry for the  embarrassment certain members of my family and I brought upon my beloved Virginia and her citizens," he said in a statement.

"I am committed to regaining your sacred trust and confidence," McDonnell went on to say. "I hope today's action is another step toward that end."

In total, the governor said he paid back loans of $71,837 and $52,278.17 to Williams, totaling $124,115.17. In his statement, McDonnell said that the loans were made to he and his sister to use for a real estate business he jointly owned with his sister.

McDonnell and his family have been embroiled in numerous controversies over the past several months, one of which was the acceptance of hundreds of thousands of dollars from Williams, who heads the pharmaceutical company.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post revealed that in addition to a previous $70,000 undisclosed payment from Star Scientific to McDonnell, Williams also cut a check to the governor's wife, Maureen for $50,000.

At the time, a McDonnell spokesman said that the payments didn't have to be disclosed because officials are not required to do so for business loans or gifts to family members.

Virginia's first family and other politicians have had their ties to Williams and Star Scientific scrutinized over the contributions, even while the company was the subject of a federal probe.

No one, during my administration, has been given any special consideration because of their friendship, because of their donation to my campaign, because of any gifts they've been given,” McDonnell says.

Numerous members of Virginia's legislature have called for McDonnell to resign over the past several weeks.

McDonnell and his family are not the only ones to be criticized for their ties to Williams and Star Scientific. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has also has his financial affiliation with the company examined, including stock trades and and $13,000 in gifts that he did not disclose.

Prosecutors later cleared Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor in 2014, of any wrongdoing in connection to the company.

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