Supreme Court rejects appeal of former Connecticut governor

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to disturb the convictions of former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland for conspiring to hide his work for two Republican congressional candidates, several years after he resigned from office and served prison time for corruption.

The 59-year-old Republican argued that contracts he prepared, which federal prosecutors said illegally sought to disguise the nature of his role in the campaigns, were not falsified records.

Rowland was convicted by a federal jury in 2014 of plotting to hide political consulting roles through sham contracts in the failed Connecticut 5th District campaigns of Lisa Wilson-Foley in 2012 and Mark Greenberg in 2010. He reported to prison in September to begin serving a 2½ year sentence.

Rowland's lawyer, Yaakov Roth, and the Connecticut U.S. attorney's office declined to comment Monday. Roth said he had yet to talk with the former governor about the high court's decision.

Rowland was governor from 1995 to 2004 and was considered a rising star in the GOP. He was elected to the U.S. House three times, the first time in 1980 when he was 23. He served as chairman of the Republican Governors Association and was mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate or Cabinet member.

But he resigned in 2004 amid a corruption scandal that would send him to prison for 10 months for taking more than $100,000 worth of illegal gifts while in office including private flights to Las Vegas, Vermont vacations and repairs and a hot tub at his vacation cottage.

After prison, Rowland regained some popularity while hosting a talk radio show. But then came a second criminal case.

Authorities said Rowland entered into a contract with a nursing home company run by Wilson-Foley's husband, and that contract was used to hide a $35,000 payment to Rowland for consulting for Wilson-Foley's campaign. Rowland said he volunteered for the campaign and denied the allegations.

Wilson-Foley was sentenced to five months in prison and her husband, Brian Foley, got probation in the case. Foley testified that his wife wanted Rowland's help, but believed his involvement — if made public — would attract negative publicity.

Greenberg, who was not charged, testified that he turned down a similar offer from Rowland in his 2010 campaign.

Rowland was convicted of seven federal charges including conspiracy, falsifying records in a federal investigation and causing illegal campaign contributions. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected his appeal of his convictions last year.

In his brief to the Supreme Court, Rowland said the 2nd Circuit was wrong to uphold his conviction for falsifying documents under the Sarbanes-Oxley anti-fraud law, and wrong to rule that omissions of material facts from contracts were equivalent to lies. Roth, Rowland's lawyer, argued the court's decision also expanded the reach of Sarbanes-Oxley and dozens of other federal laws against false statements.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

  2. The Indiana DOE released the 2015-2016 school grades in Dec 2016 and my local elementary school is a "C" grade school. Look at the MCCSC boundary maps and how all of the most affluent neighborhoods have the best performance. It is no surprise that obtaining residency in the "A" school boundaries cost 1.5 to 3 times as much. As a parent I should have more options than my "C" school without needing to pay the premium to live in the affluent parts of town. If the charter were authorized by a non-religious school the plaintiffs would still be against it because it would still be taking per-pupil money from them. They are hiding behind the guise of religion as a basis for their argument when this is clearly all about money and nothing else.

  3. This is a horrible headline. The article is about challenging the ability of Grace College to serve as an authorizer. 7 Oaks is not a religiously affiliated school

  4. Congratulations to Judge Carmichael for making it to the final three! She is an outstanding Judge and the people of Indiana will benefit tremendously if/when she is chosen.

  5. The headline change to from "religious" to "religious-affiliated" is still inaccurate and terribly misleading.