Hand in the cookie jar? Democrats raise issue with Terry Kilgore, tobacco commission

state-capitol2Yesterday marked yet another episode in the shady saga of Terry Kilgore as he continues to use his official Tobacco Commission chairmanship to benefit his family members. Last week, an AP report revealed that Kilgore awarded $21 million to groups run by his own family members. And let’s not forget that a grand jury is currently investigating whether he bribed State Senator Phil Puckett to resign, causing 400,000 Virginians to remain without healthcare.

Now, the Roanoke Times has found that his questionable dealings run even deeper into the committee’s operations. Yesterday’s piece describes how Kilgore delayed a grant award by the Tobacco Commission for months so the economic development group his brother runs could reap some of the benefits.

A disturbing pattern is clear – Terry Kilgore is using his official role to financially benefit his family members, putting his own monetary interests above the oath he took to serve the people of Virginia. It’s unacceptable that he continues to cross ethical lines even as a grand jury investigates whether or not he committed bribery that left hundreds of thousands of Virginians without healthcare.

Terry Kilgore clearly has conflicts of interests when it comes to the Tobacco Commission that he repeatedly ignores,” said Morgan Finkelstein, press secretary for the Democratic Party of Virginia. “It is unacceptable that Terry Kilgore continues to use his official role on a state commission to reap financial benefits for himself and his family – blatantly ignoring ethical standards and the oath he took to serve the Commonwealth.”

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