Report: Va. Gov. McDonnell, wife billed taxpayers for personal items

WASHINGTON – Taxpayers have footed the bill for personal expenses, including body wash and dog vitamins, bought on behalf of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife.

Records obtained by The Washington Post show the McDonnells billed the state for personal expenses that totaled less than $600. Among the expenses: a digestive system cleanse, sunscreen and sleep aids.

The Post reports the couple also reimbursed the state for more than $300 after an official who oversees spending at the Executive Mansion told the McDonnells taxpayers should not have paid for items, including deodorant and dry-cleaning for their children.

However, the McDonnells also have used state employees to run errands for their adult children, including picking up a pair of pants at a tailoring shop. And after reimbursing the state for the more than $300, the Post says the McDonnells continued to bill Virginians for items, such as nasal spray and vitamins.

It’s not known whether taxpayers were fully paid back for personal items because the state released only 16 receipts after the Post requested records covering 3 1/2 years.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin tells the Post the governor’s administration “has adhered to precedent in reimbursing the state for items meant for personal use.”

The report comes amid a federal probe into gifts given to the McDonnells. Authorities have questioned friends and associates of the governor about actions the governor and his wife took to promote a nutritional supplement by the company Star Scientific.

The McDonnells received gifts from the company’s chief executive, but the governor has said the company received no special favors.

The former chef at the Executive Mansion — who faces charges of stealing food from the kitchen — also has alleged that McDonnell family members raided the mansion’s liquor cabinet and that Maureen McDonnell gave away pots and pans from the mansion to her daughters, according to the Post.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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