Ex-Va. State Senator Whose Resignation Prompted Investigation Lawyers Up

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Washington Post reported Friday that Thomas Bondurant Jr., of the Virginia firm Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, is now representing former Virginia state Sen. Phillip Puckett (D), as investigators look into the circumstances of Puckett’s departure from the state legislature earlier this month. Bondurant, a former federal prosecutor, declined to tell the Post whether Puckett had yet spoken with federal investigators or served with a subpoena to testify before a grand jury.

“From looking at it in a preliminary fashion, I don’t see a crime,” Bondurant told the newspaper. “We’ll continue to do our investigation and respond to whatever we need to at the appropriate time.”

Puckett’s resignation left Republicans in control of both chambers of the Virginia legislature, and cleared the way for the passage of a state budget that did not expand Medicaid under Obamacare — an expansion that would have covered up to 400,000 low-income Virginians. Reports earlier this month indicated that Puckett had stepped down in exchange for a seat on the state’s tobacco commission and a judgeship for his daughter.

Following the controversy over his resignation, Puckett withdrew his name from consideration for the tobacco commission position.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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