Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Wikipedia Encyclopedia entry on John G. Rowland


John G. Rowland (born May 24, 1957 in Waterbury, Connecticut) was the Governor of Connecticut from 1995 to 2004. He is married to Patty Rowland, his second wife, and the couple have five children between them.
1 Personal facts
2 Political facts
3 Spousal abuse allegations
4 Corruption as governor
4.1 Impeachment process and Federal case
4.2 Further investigations

Personal facts
Rowland's family has lived in Connecticut for more than 200 years. His father and grandfather each served as comptrollers for the City of Waterbury.

Rowland attended Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, where he was on the school's wrestling team. After graduating from Holy Cross, he advanced to Villanova University. He has since received honorary degrees from the University of New Haven, the University of Hartford, and Teikyo Post University.

In January of 2003, Rowland was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame after receiving the "Outstanding American" Award.

Political facts

A member of the Republican Party, Rowland's political career began in 1980 when, at age 23, he was elected to the Connecticut State House of Representatives. He held his seat until 1984, when he was elected to represent Connecticut's 5th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, where he served three consecutive terms.

After losing the gubernatorial race to Lowell Weicker, Rowland worked as a consultant for
United Technologies Corp. He was later elected governor in 1995 at age 37 (the youngest governor in Connecticut history), and later defeated Democratic challengers Former US Congresswoman Barbara Bailey Kennelly 63%-35% in 1998, and Former State Comptroller Bill Curry, 54%-46% in 2002.

Rowland resigned as Governor of Connecticut effective July 1, 2004. Lieutenant Governor M. Jodi Rell is serving out the remainder of his term.

Spousal abuse allegations

Rowland's first wife divorced him before he was elected governor in 1994 and filed a spousal abuse charge in June 1995, but Rowland has never been charged or arrested for domestic violence. There was a request filed under the FOIA which is available at the state website. Police reports not resulting in arrest are not required to be released.

Corruption as governor

Impeachment process and Federal case

In the first years of Rowland's third term, rumors began circulating that contractors doing business with the state paid for and made improvements to his weekend cottage, that he benefited improperly from the sale of a condominium in Washington, D.C. at an inflated price, that he took gifts from subordinates in state government, and that he took partial ownership in businesses immediately before they were granted state contracts. These eventually led to federal investigations and then indictments of some of Rowland's close aides, who then cooperated with federal investigators.

Rumors continued that the investigation was building a case against Rowland himself; Rowland publicly denied the allegations.

However, in December 2003, Rowland abruptly appeared on television and admitted that work had been done by contractors on his cottage at no charge, and that his earlier statements to the contrary were untrue. Matters were exacerbated when his wife, Patty Rowland, wrote a caustic/sarcastic/satiric poem deriding the media for investigating her husband's admitted wrongdoing.

He claimed that since the work was done he had paid the contractors in full, but in January 2004, an official investigation began into charges of corruption, and whether he should face impeachment.

On April 30, a special investigation panel started the impeachment process. On June 18, the Connecticut Supreme Court required Rowland to appear before the investigative panel seeking his testimony, which could have resulted in him giving evidence against himself in the ongoing criminal investigation. On June 21, Rowland's lawyers announced that he would resign. The resignation went into effect at noon on July 1.

On December 24, 2004, Rowland entered a plea of guilty to stealing honest service. The Hartford Courant reported that the plea came after the assistant US Attorney Nora Dannehy was planning to convene a grand jury to investigate racketeering and conspiracy charges against him.

His plea bargain included granting his choice of the judge who would impose his sentence.
Rowland was sentenced on March 18, 2005, in New Haven, Connecticut to one year and one day in prison, four months house arrest, three years probation and community service. On April 1 he entered the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania. His Federal inmate number is 15623-014.

Further investigations

Investigations, by Ct. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and by a state legislative committee, concerning several separate possible improprieties by him and associates, ensued after Rowland's resignation:

Work he took between his resignation and imprisonment, as a consultant (and possibly an unregistered lobbyist), would clearly have been illegal if the state's revolving-door law explicitly included the governor as it does other state employees.

Three non-profit organizations closely associated with large contributors to his campaigns for public office are also mentioned by investigators:

Bolton Charities Inc., formerly called the Michael Bolton Foundation and established by his contributor, the musician Michael Bolton

National Science Center Foundation, a Georgia-based vendor to the state and one of the controversial consulting clients

The Executive Residence Conservancy, Inc., which paid for expenses of the governor's mansion during Rowland's residence there
(Mainstream journalists, but as of May, 2005, not official investigators, have publicly noted that

Harry Gray was
head of United Technologies when (before Rowland was congressman or governor) it employed him as a consultant,
a large contributor to Rowland's election campaigns,
the conservancy's largest contributor and
head of National Science Center Foundation, when it employed Rowland as a consultant between his resignation and conviction.)


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