“Phillip: Chairman Kilgore has asked Ned and I to reach out to you to discuss potential roles(s) for you as an employee of the Commission. I’m not aware of the genesis of this idea, but Terry has asked us to speak to you when you’re available.”
These conversations went so far that they were even discussing a public announcement of the new role:
“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,”Tobacco Commission Executive Director Tim Pfohl sent an email to Puckett.
However, when Kilgore started to worry that his elaborate scheme would be foiled, he tried to cover up his wheeling and dealing in order to “give this the most defensible appearance of due process.”
No matter how much Kilgore tried to make his actions “appear” to fall within due process, the facts don’t lie. Kilgore was planning an announcement of Puckett’s new position, which he only cancelled when he realized he might get caught.
“These newly surfaced emails are alarming and show that there were clearly some sort of backroom deals going on surrounding Senator Puckett’s resignation,” stated DPVA Executive Director Robert Dempsey. “And the worst part is that only when House Republicans realized they could be caught for their shady tricks did Kilgore try to backtrack to make everything “appear” that it was in accordance with the law.
“Virginians deserve leaders who will fight for what’s best for their constituents, not those who are spending their time concocting backroom deals and cover-ups that undermine the democratic process and cause Virginians to lose faith in those they elected to serve.”