Connecticut’s Rowland Loses Campaign Law Conviction Appeal

  • Ex-governor faces 2-1/2 year prison term for seven crimes
  • U.S. court in New York rejects appeal of conviction, sentence

John G. Rowland, the former governor of Connecticut, lost an appeal of convictions for hiding his paid work on behalf of congressional candidates in 2010 and 2012. The decision Friday by the federal appeals court in New York takes him a step closer to a 2-1/2 year prison sentence.

Rowland, a Republican, was convicted in 2015 of seven counts of violating campaign-finance laws and falsifying documents. He was found to have concealed his involvement as a paid political consultant for two Republican congressional campaigns.
One candidate, Lisa Wilson-Foley, paid Rowland in 2012 through her husband’s nursing home company to avoid reporting to the Federal Election Commission. Rowland prepared a similar contract for candidate David Greenberg in 2010 but wasn’t hired by the campaign.

It was the second time Rowland, 59, was convicted of a crime. He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison in 2004 for illegally accepting gifts worth $107,000.

His lawyers, in an appeal of his conviction and sentence, argued that he didn’t alter existing documents and thus didn’t “falsify” them. They also said the government failed to disclose statements supporting his defense, and that some decisions on evidence in his trial were improper. The court rejected all the arguments.

Falsifed Contracts

“In our view, a written contract may be ‘falsified’ if it misrepresents the true nature of the parties’ agreement,” the panel said.

Rowland remains free on bail during the appeal.

Defense attorney Andrew Fish of Locke Lord LLP didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision. A Justice Department attorney also didn’t respond to a phone call requesting comment.

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