Jury Begins Deliberations in Rowland Trial

Federal prosecutors did their best Thursday to lay out their final case against Connecticut's former governor John Rowland.

"Use your common sense," Asst. U.S. Attorney Chris Mattei told jurors in court.

Mattei worked to connect all of the dots surrounding Rowland and his connections to a pair of Republican congressional campaigns.

Rowland drafted a contract to work for Mark Greenberg in 2010 and later provided help to the campaign of Lisa Wilson-Foley in 2011 and 2012.

“What was he selling? What was he getting paid for?" Mattei asked jurors.

He argued that it was Rowland himself who recommended that both Greenberg and Brian Foley, Wilson-Foley's husband, pay him through secret means.

Rowland, prosecutors allege, urged the Greenberg campaign to pay him through the Simon Foundation and urged Foley to get paid through his private attorney for generic consulting work.

Mattei provided the federal government's case first.

Later in the day, Rowland's attorney, Reid Weingarten, worked to rebut the government's position that the former governor helped to orchestrate a conspiracy in order to hide his role from the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice.

"John Rowland did legitimate work for Apple," Weingarten explained to jurors.

He detailed the emails and correspondence Rowland had with Apple Rehab CEO Brian Bedard about consulting for the company.

Weingarten also pointed out that it was Rowland's idea to hire former Democratic Speaker of the House John Ritter to lobby on the group's behalf in the State Legislature.

Weingarten conceded the point that Rowland was intimately involved in the Wilson-Foley campaign but insisted that he served in that role as a campaign volunteer and not a paid consultant.

“If this is a sham, then why are they going back and forth? Why are they keeping this up?" Weingarten asked the jury. "What’s the point? Foley sharing the guts and substance of his business? It makes no sense.”

The jury started deliberations shortly before 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

The group will consider seven counts against Rowland. The former governor and member of Congress faces one count of conspiracy and two counts each of falsification of records, causing illegal campaign contributions, and causing false statements.

Contact Us