Report: McDonnell used taxpayer funds for dog vitamins, "detox cleanse"

The Virginia Governor reportedly improperly spent public money on personal expenses

Published June 17, 2013 3:56PM (EDT)

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, is under scrutiny for using taxpayer money for personal expenses, including "body wash, sunscreen, dog vitamins and a digestive system 'detox cleanse,'" according to financial records obtained by The Washington Post.

The Washington Post, which filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the spending records, reports that state employees were also used to run personal errands, including picking up tailored pants and dry cleaning. From the Post:

About six months into the governor’s term, the official who oversees mansion spending told the McDonnells that they should not have charged taxpayers for a number of expenses, including deodorant, shoe repairs and dry-cleaning their children’s clothing. The official asked the McDonnells to pay the state back more than $300, which they did, and also gave them a refresher on what the state will and won’t provide for occupants of the governor’s mansion.

But since that time, state records show that the McDonnells have continued to let taxpayers pick up the tab for numerous personal items, including vitamins, nasal spray and sleep-inducing elixirs.

McDonnell is currently being investigated by the FBI for his ties to the CEO of a company that makes dietary supplements - who also paid for part of McDonnell's daughter's wedding. The investigation is looking at whether McDonnell traded favors for the payment or other gifts.

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Bob Mcdonnell Republican Governors Association Republicans Taxpayer Funds Virginia