Former Virginia governor and his wife are indicted
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia and his wife, Maureen, were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges of accepting some $140,000 in loans and gifts in exchange for promoting the business of a political patron.
The 14-count indictment filed by the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia included charges of bribery and fraud relating to the McDonnells’ relationship with Jonnie Williams Sr., the chief executive of Star Scientific, a maker of dietary supplements, who hoped to use the governor to promote his products.
The indictment accuses the McDonnells of lying on loan applications by failing to disclose money advanced to them by Williams. Once a rising Republican star, mentioned as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney in 2012 and an aspirant for his party’s 2016 presidential nomination, McDonnell has taken a spectacular fall since details of his connection with Williams surfaced last spring.
McDonnell, who last summer announced that he was returning the gifts and loans, has long maintained that he never did anything for Williams or his company that he would not have done for any other Virginia business.
He apologized in his last address to the General Assembly on Jan. 8 for the scandal. The controversy also cast a shadow over the campaign of the Republican candidate who sought to succeed him, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, who lost in November to Terry McAuliffe.
—Trip Gabriel, The New York Times
$28,000 a night: hotels race to cater to the superrich
In most hotels, luxury is measured by the thread count of the linens (minimum 400, please) or the brand of the bathroom toiletries. But for those at the highest end of the market, where the only restraint on consumption is how conspicuous they want to be, a race to the top has broken out, with hotels outdoing one another to serve this tiny, if highly visible, niche.
Take the Jewel Suite by Martin Katz at the New York Palace, one of two recently opened specialty suites. The three-story, 5,000-square-foot space — a sort of penthouse Versailles — resembles a jewel box, albeit one with its own private elevator and views of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings.
It’s hard to imagine Louis XIV being left wanting. The floor in the entryway, on the 53rd floor, is glittering, black marble, arranged in a sunburst pattern while a 20-foot crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling. And then there are the jewels themselves: More than a million dollars of the jewelry designer’s work is displayed in five museum-like cases in the entryway. Such grandeur — or excess, depending on your point of view — is all there for the taking, starting at $25,000 a night.
—Martha C. White, The New York Times