The criminal case against former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell has ties to Manatee County thanks to a company owned by a key witness.
Star Scientific overhauled its corporate structure in December when it appointed Dr. Michael Mullan of the Roskamp Institute as its CEO. The institute studies Alzheimer's disease and other inflammatory diseases. Earlier this year, Star Scientific changed its name to Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals and moved from Glen Allen, Va., to the headquarters of the Roskamp Institute, 2040 Whitfield Ave., Suite 300, in Tallevast.
While Johnnie Williams is no longer CEO, he is still paid by the company as a consultant for $1 a month until Rock Creek reaches profitability, according to a company spokesman.
Rock Creek, as Star Scientific, and Roskamp have known each other for a while. The McDonnell indictment showed that Maureen McDonnell and her chief-of-staff took Williams' private jet and flew to the Roskamp Institute on June 1, 2011, to talk to Star Scientific investors. Maureen McDonnell then purchased stock in the company that same day and later offered to host a launch party for Anatabloc at the governor's mansion, according to the indictment.