POLITICS

Phil Puckett, Va. state senator, under FBI investigation

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The FBI is investigating the circumstances of former Democratic state Sen. Phil Puckett's departure from the General Assembly, according to a person with direct knowledge of the probe and a state official.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch first reported the federal investigation into Puckett's resignation, a move that gave control of the state Senate to Republicans and dealt a serious setback to Gov. Terry McAuliffe's push to expand Medicaid eligibility.

When he resigned, Puckett was under consideration for a high-level job with the GOP-controlled Virginia tobacco commission. Some Democrats accused Puckett of making a back-room deal with Republicans, which Puckett and GOP lawmakers have strongly denied.

A state official familiar with the probe also confirmed the investigation. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation.

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