Former Gov. John Rowland Indicted In Illegal Campaign Scheme

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John Rowland will be arraigned Friday on seven federal charges in New Haven.
John Rowland will be arraigned Friday on seven federal charges in New Haven. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- A federal grand jury indicted former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland on Thursday on seven counts of conspiring with a congressional candidate and her husband in 2012 to hide his role as a consultant to her campaign.

Rowland, 56, of Middlebury, Conn., was governor from 1995 to 2004, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1985 to 1991. In 2004, he resigned as governor during a corruption investigation and later pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, mail fraud and tax fraud. He served 10 months in a federal prison until Feb. 10, 2006, followed by four months of house arrest.

The indictment says that in October 2009, Rowland devised a scheme to work for the campaign of a candidate seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Fifth Congressional District and to conceal from the Federal Election Commission and the public the fact that he would be paid.  

Rowland is further accused of conspiring with the candidate, Lisa Wilson-Foley, and her husband, Brian Foley,  to conceal the payments to him.

He drafted a sham consulting contract pursuant claiming to work for the “Animal Center” through which the payments would be made. This was to prevent campaign contributions and expenditures from being reported to the FEC and the public. Rowland also provided nominal services to Foley’s nursing home company to create a cover that he was being paid for those services instead of work for Wilson-Foley’s campaign. 

It is alleged that between September 2011 and April 2012, Rowland was paid $35,000 for services rendered to Wilson-Foley’s campaign. The payments were from campaign contributions but were not reported to the FEC in violation of federal campaign finance laws.

He is charged with two counts of falsification of records in a federal investigation, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years on each count; conspiracy, which carries a maximum prison term of five years; two counts of causing false statements to be made to the FEC, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on each count; and two counts of causing illegal campaign contributions, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of one year on each count.

Rowland is expected to be arraigned at 2:30 p.m. Friday in New Haven.

Wilson-Foley and Foley pleaded guilty March 31 to the scheme involving Rowland. Wilson-Foley, who lost the Republican primary, and her husband each face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

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