RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) -- Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has hired five attorneys from a national law firm to represent Gov. Bob McDonnell in an embezzlement case against the Executive Mansion's former chef.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the attorney general recused his office from representing McDonnell.

Instead, lawyers from Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC, which has an office in Richmond, will serve as counsel for the governor and his office in the pending lawsuit against Todd Schneider.

The group of lawyers will be headed by former Virginia Attorney General Anthony F. Troy. Troy served as the state's top lawyer from 1977-78.

The Attorney General's Office, in a letter this week, explained that there is a "practical conflict" in it representing McDonnell in the case.

According to the AP, Cuccinelli has ties to businessman Jonnie Williams, who gave McDonnell's daughter a $15,000 check for her wedding reception, held at the Executive Mansion and catered by Schneider's private company.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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