Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell apologized Tuesday for bringing “embarrassment” to the state and said he has repaid more than $120,000 that a major political donor gave his wife and a business he and his sister own. The same donor also plied his family with thousands of dollars in gifts.
McDonnell, a Republican, with less than six months remaining on his term, issued the remarkable apology for his ties to the chief executive of nutritional supplements maker Star Scientific Inc. Jonnie R. Williams.
"I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment certain members of my family and I brought upon my beloved Virginia and her citizens. I want you to know that I broke no laws and that I am committed to regaining your sacred trust and confidence. I hope today's action is another step toward that end," the governor said in the statement released through his private communications consultant, Rich Galen.
McDonnell said the repayments, totaling $124,115.17, include principal and interest and settle both debts to Williams in full.
The statement also marks the governor's first substantial public reckoning to date over the gifts he and his family have received since he took office in January 2010 that are at the center of federal and state criminal investigations and have brought his job-approval ratings to the lowest point of his term.
Galen's release said the repayments were $52,278.17 for a personal loan Williams made to first lady Maureen McDonnell in 2011 and $71,837 for two loans to MoBo Real Estate Partners, a small real estate business that McDonnell and a sister own together.
In his statement, McDonnell said he planned to focus the last few months of his governorship “on creating even more jobs and facilitating greater opportunity” for the state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.