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Taxpayers now footing bill for Gov. McDonnell’s legal fees

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Posted at 7:14 PM, Sep 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-06 06:32:09-04

A $140,000 legal bill is what Virginia taxpayers are getting from the scandal surrounding Governor Bob McDonnell.

$90,000 was spent in June alone on defending the governor and his dealings with Star Scientific.

Joe St. George asked the governor about the bill he's passing on to taxpayers.

Investigators are looking into whether or not mega donor Jonnie Williams received anything in return for the nearly $150,000 worth of gifts and loans he gave the McDonnell family over an 18-month period.

Despite the looming possibility that he could face a federal indictment, McDonnell said his office is doing fine, even referring to the scandal as a "bump in the road."

"There's little bumps in the road you've got to go through,” McDonnell said.

One thing is clear, McDonnell is finishing his term by giving a large bill to the taxpayers.

While private donations are covering the cost of lawyers involved with a possible Star Scientific indictment, another legal team, headed by former attorney general Tony Troy, has billed the state over $140,000 for services related to defending the governor from former mansion chef Todd Schneider who is charged with embezzlement and is also alleging wrongdoing by the governor.

“Those bills are not of my request. The attorney general appointed that counsel,” says McDonnell.

The governor put the blame for the large bill on Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who usually represents the governor but recused himself from that case.

And while the office of the attorney general has yet to comment on why it chose such a pricey law firm, McDonnell continued to express his innocence.

“I have complied with every Virginia law, and I can't control what other people are going to do,” says McDonnell.