Former Governor of Connecticut Convicted of Corruption
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Summary: John Rowland, former Connecticut Gov. who resigned about a decade ago amid corruption allegations was convicted on Friday on seven charges of campaign corruption and conspiracy to hide his role in two congressional campaigns. He had once been sentenced to a year and a day in prison in 2005. This is his second conviction. Rowland declined to testify in his own defense.
Charges against Rowland this time around involved Lisa Wilson-Foley's failed congressional campaign in 2012. As Rowland couldn't openly work for the campaign, he received secret payments through a nursing home company. Prosecutors alleged that while Rowland made it appear he was volunteering for Lisa, in fact, he was taking money by purporting to do work for Foley's company Apple Health Care Inc.
Rowland was the governor of Connecticut from 1995 to 2004, and served from 1985 to 1991 in the U.S. House of Representatives. In a news release made by the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut, Shelley Binkowski, Inspector in Charge for the Boston Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said, "The verdict in this case should give the public a sense that justice does prevail … public officials are not immune from the law."
The sole witness produced by the defense was an executive who had worked for the nursing home company owned by Brian Foley, Lisa Wilson-Foley's husband. The witness Brian Bedard testified that Rowland did actual work for the nursing home and did not receive sham payments.
The Foleys pleaded guilty to conspiracy of making illegal contributions in March. Following the plea bargaining, Brian Foley became a witness for the government and testified that he had paid Rowland for the work he did for Lisa's campaign through the nursing home company.
The defense pointed out that Brian Foley was only trying to save his own skin; otherwise he could have faced significant prison time for funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally into his wife's campaign.
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