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UPDATE: Virginia executive chef to pay $2,300 in restitution

Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:33:53 AM EST
Updated On: Sep 18 2013 02:35:48 PM EDT
RICHMOND, Va. -

The former chef at Virginia's Executive Mansion has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge that he stole food from the first family's kitchen, avoiding a politically  embarrassing trial weeks before the state's gubernatorial election.

Todd Schneider entered a no contest plea Wednesday to two misdemeanor embezzlement charges. He was ordered to serve six months in jail on each charge, with the time suspended. He also was ordered to make restitution of $2,300 to the state for the food he took.

Schneider had been scheduled to stand trial Oct. 15 on four counts of felony embezzlement less than three weeks before the Nov. 5 general election.

The case against Schneider brought to light allegations of misconduct against Gov. Bob McDonnell and entangled Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor.

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An attorney representing a former chef at the Virginia governor's mansion who was charged with stealing from the home's kitchen says an agreement has been reached.

Attorney Steve Benjamin said Wednesday a "favorable resolution" has been reached in the case against Todd Schneider. Benjamin refused to provide further details. The prosecutor refused to comment, citing a gag order.

The agreement will be presented in court Wednesday.

Schneider faces four felony counts of embezzlement.

The case against Schneider brought to light allegations of misconduct against Gov. Bob McDonnell and his family. Schneider told investigators the first family took undisclosed gifts from a wealthy donor, took items from the kitchen and that the governor required him and other state employees to work private and political events.