Virginia AG's office to exit chef case

Virginia Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has withdrawn his office from prosecuting embezzlement charges against the former chef at the governor's mansion, citing an unspecified "conflict of interest" in the ongoing case.

Todd Schneider, who headed kitchen operations at the Executive Mansion from 2010 until last year, was charged with four counts of taking state property worth $200 or more.

Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein said the attorney general is recusing his office after Schneider's lawyers filed court documents seeking information about items the governor's family may have taken from the mansion kitchen.

Gottstein says the filing politicized the case.

But a 2-page motion the attorney general's office filed in court Wednesday afternoon notes a "conflict of interest in the continued investigation and prosecution of this matter."