A trial date has been set in a tax dispute that pits a controversial dietary supplement maker against the state of Virginia, the first sign of movement in the case in more than 18 months.
A judge in Mecklenburg County, near the North Carolina border, will hear arguments in December over a tax bill contested by Virginia-based Star Scientific Inc., according to lawyers representing the state.
Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli II recused his office from the matter after it became public that he was defending the state even though he owned stock in Star Scientific and had accepted lake house vacations and private plane rides from its chief executive.
Federal and state authorities also are probing the relationship between Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie R. Williams and Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R). Williams paid $15,000 for the catering at McDonnell’s daughter’s 2011 wedding.
Cuccinelli has said he had no personal involvement with the suit, which was being handled as a routine matter by staff attorneys in the office, and that his relationship with Williams presented no conflict of interest.