While the Washington Post doesn’t use the word bribe, they come close in this article. Emails received by the Post through a FOIA request show that a job was being created by the state tobacco commission for Senator Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell) just before his abrupt resignation from the state senate. His resignation gave control of the senate to republicans.
On May 29th, tobacco commission interim director Tim Pfohl sent an email about the job to Ned Stephenson, the commission’s director of investments. (Terry refers to Del. Terry G. Kilgore (R-Scott)).
“If you’re in tomorrow Terry would like us to call Puckett to discuss what kind of role he might like w/ Commission,” he wrote.
The job being created for Puckett would come with state employee benefits, a cell phone, and possibly a car. Puckett was even asked to help write his own job description.
Pfohl, had concerns about the job announcement coming the same day as Puckett’s resignation. He feared it would give the appearance of the commission ‘manipulating’ power in the Virginia Senate. No kidding. On May 30th, Pfohl tells Puckett that he had begged the chairman of the commission, Del. Terry G. Kilgore, to delay the announcement of Puckett’s job with the commission. (Phillip is Senator Puckett.)
“Phillip: Terry spoke to us today about announcing your role w/ the Commission in conjunction with what he said is your intention to announce your Senate plans tomorrow,” Pfohl wrote. “I implored him to ‘decouple’ those announcements for the sake of the appearance of the Commission manipulating the Senate balance of power and starting WW3 w/ the Governor’s administration.”
“I mention all this so you know what’s being planned on our end to give this the most defensible appearance of due process,” (emphasis mine)
Wow. It certainly did set off a firestorm, if not WW3, and now the whole matter is being investigated by the FBI. A grand jury met this week in Abington to go over documents and testimony.
Read the entire timeline here.
UPDATE: I have been told by numerous people that the real reason for Puckett’s resignation from the Senate was so he could spend more time with his wife who is facing a serious illness. We wish her a speedy recovery.
Well, if it wasn’t a bribe, then will someone tell us why a Republican, was creating a new position for a Democrat on the Tobacco Commission? And, please explain the timing?
Can you tell me the last time a Republican created a new job to “help” out a Democrat?
This was not filling an existing position, this was creating a position.
Because the Tobacco Commission strives to be above nasty partisanship. Phil Puckett knows SW Virginia well.
And there was a need for a new position, and it could not wait a few weeks?
Meetings are only held sporadically.
Yes it looks bad, and I yelled when it first happened. I’ve moved to the “Nothing To See Here” side now.
Let’s let Mr. Holder handle this one for now.
Here is a hypothetical regarding resignation for compensation. Strictly hypothetical. All legal?
The Republicans have control of the House and Senate in Virginia. For the moment let’s assume that a Republican won the lieutenant governor’s race. Suppose a wealthy person were to come in and offer a Democrat governor say a job with a $50 M stock option to resign? This would be so that all 3 branches of government would be the same Party.
If what happened recently is allowed, haven’t the Republicans just taken us there?
Do we really want to be there?
The rapidity of the U. S. Department of Justice to respond to Puckett’s resignation is absolutely amazing. If a Republican is alleged to have committed fraud or engaged in unethical activity, the DOJ is ‘johnny-on-the-spot’ (or shall I say “eric-on-the-spot.”) But when there are authentic, proven abuses (ex: IRS, VA, Fast & Furious, NSA – we know all the acronyms), the silence is deafening. NO special prosecutors and a president who considers all allegations against Democrats “Phony.”
As interesting as this discussion is, it is not a crime to quit one job in favor of another job. Even if there was an email out there saying, “Phil, if you resign from the Senate we will hire you to work for the Tobacco Commission,” it is still not a crime.
When I leave one job for another that has a better salary and a shorter commute, am I being bribed to leave my current job? In a way, yes. Is it illegal? No. This is the same situation.
People are looking at the consequences of Puckett’s resignation (the shifting of the power balance in the Senate) and trying to proscribe those consequences to Puckett, but none of those consequences constitute an official act by Puckett. He just resigned his job.
I expect the Post and the Democrats will continue to go after him because Puckett cost them their dream of taking Virginia one step closer to a single-payer health care system, but we should not be jumping on the bandwagon, and tarnishing good Republicans (i.e. Terry Kilgore) in the process. After all, we in Loudoun are no strangers to phony, trumped up FBI investigations against Republicans.
Are you a lawyer? Why not let the grand jury decide?
How bout’ a comment on the McDonnell scandal? Trumped up charges there too?
There is no question what Puckett did, none. Wonder if he was going to get a red “state” Ferrari or blue one? Or just a “state” Lexus.
We know what Puckett would have been wiping his backside with, taxpayer money!
Sure, and if the roles were reversed you’d think it was on the up and up, I’m sure.
Coming from the Washington Compost a leftist rag I wouldn’t believe a word of it . I wouldn’t use their paper to wipe my backside .
It is my belief that similar emails exist with regard to Boyd Marcus’s position with the ABC Board but GA members never saw fit to investigate that matter and merely canned the appointment without going further.
Thanks for calling a spade a spade!