It is a lingering disconnect from the news that an unresolved issue between the IRS, the Department of Treasury and the Commonwealth of Virginia was finally settled.
Last Wednesday, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli called a press conference to complain that the IRS and the Department of Treasury were taking too long to resolve a massive settlement struck with the company Abbot Pharmaceuticals. The $125 million was earmarked for state law enforcement agencies after Abbot admitted to promoting the drug Depakote for uses that were not approved by the federal government.
Cuccinelli accused both agencies of taking too long to release the funds and claimed there was no communication from their office as to what the hold up was and how long it was going to be before the money was released.
Only a few hours after the Cuccinelli press event, Treasury sent the Attorney General's Office a letter informing them that the money was on the way. In several instances, Cuccinelli credited his public admonishment of Treasury and the IRS as the reason the release of the money was finally approved.
However, the office of Senator Tim Kaine, who became involved with the issue late in the game, said that they heard from Treasury on the Friday before Cuccinelli's press event that a resolution was coming and a letter would be sent the following week.
Kaine's office was cc'd on a May 24th e-mail from the Attorney General to Treasury asking for information on the progress of the case. According to his office, they followed up with a phone call the next Wednesday, May 29th. That Friday, May 31st Treasury followed up with a phone call informing Kaine's office that issue was on the verge of being resolved and a letter to the Attorney General should come the next week.
Kaine's office never communicated that information to Cuccinelli's office and the Attorney General claims that they had zero contact from Treasury as well until the letter arrived after his press event.
Cuccinelli told me in an interview this week that he wasn't sure Kaine's office really knew as they claimed.
"I am still not convinced that Senator Kaine's office knew the week before. If they did, I am mystified as to why they wouldn't have communicated that to us," Cuccinelli said. "There is a reason we were communicating with them. It was to engage them in this process and try and get them to help us move productively toward a resolution of it."
Kaine's office said their communication with both the Attorney General and Treasury was informal. Aside from being cc'd on the e-mail there was no other formal communication between Washington and Richmond. When they learned of the resolution, they assumed the case was closed.
An official from the Department of Treasury confirmed on background that Kaine's office did learn a resolution was coming as they claim.
Meanwhile, Cuccinelli is now prepared for the next fight in this situation, the actual release of the funds. While he is pleased the Treasury Department has promised to begin the process, he plans to stay vigilant until the money actually starts flowing.
Both offices tell me that their main goal is not to take credit, but to make sure this money finally gets to Virginia.
"We finished the largest health care fraud case ever investigated by a state it was very successfully executed by folks in this office," said Cuccinelli. "That should be a cause for celebration in this office and everyone in Virginia. We brought one of the bad guys to justice."