The Associated Press says that family members of the chairman of the so-called tobacco indemnification commission received a 21 million dollar economic development grant. The A.P. says the money went to a telephone cooperative run by family members of Terry Kilgore, a Republican state legislator and chairman of the Virginia Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, which controls about 600 million dollars from the national tobacco settlement. And while the grants are not illegal, they are part of a pattern of questionable spending for several years, much in Scott County, where Kilgore’s brother is head of the economic development authority.
Terry Kilgore says his family ties have not affected the commission’s investments, and the other commission members approved it. But the commission has a rocky history.
The FBI is currently investigating the sudden resignation of a Democratic state senator before a key Medicaid vote, that may have involved a proffered commission job and a former commissioner is serving ten years in prison for stealing four million dollars from the fund.