During my drive home from work during the years that John G. Rowland conducted his political talk show on WTIC between 3PM and 6PM (July 2010 to early April 2014), I would tune in to hear his biased rant against all things Malloy and Obama. I was often disgusted by his twisted point of view. So when President Obama won re-election in November 2012, I made a special point of tuning in to hear him whine. In his commentary about state Republican campaigns – who was good and who was not so good – Rowland never disclosed that he was a paid consultant for one of those campaigns. A second Republican candidate, MG (Mark Greenberg), wisely brushed off his solicitations.
Brian Foley and Lisa Wilson Foley pled guilty in a plea deal which imposed one-year in jail for each and substantial fines. Their acceptance of these sentences speaks strongly to the guilt of John G. Rowland in his political fraud. His trial starts in September down in New Haven. As a two-time loser, he will get jail time for sure.
The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 limited financial influence in the election of candidates for federal office, including the office of United States Representative. The Election Act is enforced by the Federal Election Commission and the United States Department of Justice. It provides for public disclosure of certain contributions to and expenditures by federal election campaigns:
The Election Act limits the amount and source of money that may be contributed to a federal candidate or the candidate’s campaign committee; and In 2011 and 2012, the Election Act limited convention, primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each for a total of $7,500, from any individual to any one candidate.
The Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) is an agency and department of the United States with jurisdiction to enforce the limits and prohibitions of the Election Act, and to compile and publicly report accurate information about the source and amount of contributions to federal campaigns. Federal candidates were required to file periodic reports with the FEC detailing, among other things, contributions made to their campaigns and expenditures made on the campaign’s behalf. In these reports, the campaign committees are required to identify each person who, during the relevant reporting period, contributed more than $200 to the committee, together with the date and the amount of any such contribution. These reports are made available to the public.
The Campaign Committee is required to and did file these periodic reports with the FEC.
COUNT ONE (Falsification of Records in a Federal Investigation)
Beginning in approximately October 2009, ROWLAND devised a scheme to work for the Congressional campaign of MG (referred to as “Candidate 2” in the indictment; identified in many media releases), and to conceal from the FEC and the public the fact that he would be paid to perform that work. To conceal the payments to ROWLAND, which MG’s campaign would otherwise be required to report to the FEC, ROWLAND proposed to be paid through a separate corporate entity, that is, the Animal Center. Further, to make the illegal arrangement appear legitimate, ROWLAND drafted and proposed to enter into a sham consulting contract with MG, pursuant to which ROWLAND would purportedly perform work for the Animal Center. By proposing to run the campaign related payments to ROWLAND through the Animal Center, ROWLAND sought to prevent actual campaign contributions and expenditures from being reported to the FEC and the public.
MG “Candidate 2” was a candidate for election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District during the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 election cycles, and competed in a primary campaign for the nomination of the Repubiican Party during each of those cycles. Candidate 2 was also the owner of an animal rescue and adoption center, located in Bloomfield, Corurecticut (the “Animal Center”).
On or about October 18, 2009, ROWLAND emailed an attomey: “attached is a contract that I have put together I hope you will be impressed, then I thought I better run it by you.” Attached to the email was a document titled, “MG contract.docx.” The attached document was a contract to be signed by ROWLAND and MG that outlined fictitious duties that ROWLAND would perform for the Animal Center.
On or around October 23, 2009, ROWLAND met with MG at the Animal Center. At the meeting, ROWLAND provided MG with the fictitious contract, purporting to establish a paid consulting relationship between ROWLAND and the Animal Center. In fact, ROWLAND was proposing to perform paid campaign work for MG’s Congressional campaign.
On or about October 23, 2009, ROWLAND emailed MG with the subject line “working together.” ROWLAND wrote: “Let me know if you want to put your own proposal together. Unfortunately, it was very diffrcult to get into a long discussion this week in Bloomfield. Your wife was very patient with us and I didn’t want to push it. Let me know. Have a great weekend. Love, the Gov.”
On or about November 2, 2009, in furtherance of his scheme. ROWLAND emailed MG: “Do you want to meet again?”
On or about November 3,2009, Greenberg responded via email: “I always enjoy your company.” ROWLAND replied: “I appreciate that you enjoy my company, but do you want to negotiate a contract? By the way, there will be another Republican candidate or two after today’s election. Let me know, thanks.”
On or about December 16,2009, ROWLAND emailed a political consultant: “I have talked with MG about helping him, his little non-political friends tell him I would hurt him [maybe in the htfd. courant readership] but I don’t think in the 5th (district), and actually no one knows MG. I told his people that most political types would be more curious that I was helping MG and would be a help to his fledging campaign …. if MG is willing to spend his own $$ and raise some he could win.”
On or about May 23, 2010, ROWLAND emailed MG : “I’m unpopular as your campaign manager would lead you to believe !! especiaily , [sic] in the 5th district. I can get you elected …. If you are interested.”
On or about June 1, 2010, ROWLAND wrote to GM that other political consultants “can not get [sic] you elected .. none of them will want me involved for obvious financial self interests [sic] . .. I give you the only chance of winning and that is still going to be hard. [by the way what you don't understand is .. if I go with you I am going against alot [sic] of friends from 25 yrs ,, [sic] not easy for me to do[.]] Sorry about today , [sic] I thought I was coming over , for you to give me a pitch , not that I was supposed to sell myself to you, I tried that already.”
In July 2010, Rowland started hosting his political talk show in the WTIC 3PM to 6PM time slot. WTIC is the major radio station in CT but the show quickly became strictly focused on promoting right-wing Republicanism and trashing everything Malloy and Obama to an extreme and often citing opinions of “Rush” (Limbaugh).
On or about October 18, 2009, in the District of Connecticut, ROWLAND, in relation to and in contemplation of a matter within the jurisdiction of the FEC and the United States Department of Justice, did knowingly falsify and make material false entries in a document with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the investigation and proper administration of that matter, that is, ROWLAND falsified and made material false entries in a
contract for services between ROWLAND and MG inorder to conceal from the FEC and the United States Department of Justice that payments made pursuant to the fictitious contract would, in fact, be in consideration for work performed by ROWLAND on behalf of MG’s campaign for election to the U.S. House of Representatives.
All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1519.
COUNT TWO – (Conspiracy)
Brian Foley (“Foley”), a co-conspirator who has been charged and sentenced separately, is the owner of a Connecticut nursing home company (the “Nursing Home Company”). Foley also owns a number of other related companies, including a real estate company (the “Real Estate Company”). Foley is the husband of Lisa Wilson-Foley.
Lisa Wilson-Foley (“Wilson-Foley”), a co-conspirator who has been charged and sentenced separately, was a candidate for election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District in 2011 and 2012, and competed in a primary campaign for the nomination of the Republican Party.
Background of the Conspiracy
On or about September 5, 2011, ROWLAND (while hosting his 3-6PM political radio talk show) emailed (Brian) Foley and Wilson-Foley: “I have an idea to run by you, what days are good?”
On or about September 12, 2011, ROWLAND, Foley and Wilson-Foley met to discuss ROWLAND’s idea. At the meeting, ROWLAND recommended to Foley and Wilson-Foley that they hire him to work on Wilson-Foley’s campaign. ROWLAND suggested that he could replace Wilson-Foley’s campaign consultant, who was based in Washington, D.C., and perform a variety of services for the campaign.
On or about September 14, 2011, ROWLAND emailed Foley: “I had a brief chat with Lisa” I get it, Let’s you and I meet.”
On or about September 16, 2011, ROWLAND met with Foley. At the beginning of the meeting, ROWLAND falsely stated that MG (Candidate 2) had offered ROWLAND a position on his Congressional campaign, but that ROWLAND would prefer to work for Wilson-Foley. In fact, MG had made no such offer.
From on or about September 16, 2011 to in or about April 2012 – the exact dates being unknown to the Grand Jury, in the District of Connecticut and elsewhere – ROWLAND, together with Foley and Wilson-Foley, who have been charged separately, and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, did unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally conspire, combine, confederate and agree with each other to:
a. knowingly falsify and make false entries in a document in relation to and in contemplation of a matter within the jurisdiction of the FEC (Federal Election Commission) and the United States Department of Justice with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the investigation and proper administration of that matter, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1519;
b. falsify, conceal, and cover up by trick, scheme, and device a material fact in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the United States Govemment by, among other things, causing the campaign Committee to create and file false and misleading campaign finance reports with the FEC, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections I 001(aX1) and 2;
c. make contributions and cause contributions to be made by Foley through the Real Estate Company to the Campaign Committee, which aggregated $2,000 or more (but less than $25,000) during a calendar year, in excess of the limits of the Election Act, in violation of Title 2, United States Code, Sections a41a(a)(1)(A), 44ra(f) md 437g(dxlxA)(ii), and title 18, United States Code, Section 2;
d. defraud the united States by impairing, impeding, obstructing, and defeating, through deceitful and dishonest means, the lawful govemment functions of the FEC, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 37.
Purpose of the Conspiracy
The purpose of the conspiracy was to conceal from the FEC and the public that ROWLAND was paid money in exchange for services he provided to Wilson-Foley’s campaign for election to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Manner and Means of the Conspiracy
The manner and means by which ROWLAND, Foley, Wilson-Foley and others, both known and unknown to the Grand Jury, sought to accomplish the objects of the conspiracy included the following:
a. It was part of the conspiracy that ROWLAND, Foley and others created and executed a fictitious contract outlining an agreement purportedly for
consulting services between ROWLAND at the law offces of Attomey 1. It was part of the conspiracy that Foley made payments to ROWLAND for
his work on behalf of Wilson-Foley’s campaign in excess of the legal contribution iimits, and routed those payments from the Real Estate Company through the law offices of Attomey 1 and on to ROWLAND.
b. It was part of the conspiracy that ROWLAND provided nominal services to the Nursing Home company in order to create a “cover” or pretext that
he was being paid for providing consulting services to the Nursing Home Company, when, in fact, he was being paid for his work on behalf of
c. It was part of the conspiracy that Wilson-Foley, ROWLAND and others concealed from the FEC and the public Folev’s unlawfull contributions to the Campaign Committee and the payments to ROWLAND, by causing the Campaign Committee to file with the FEC false and misleading campaign finance reports that failed to disclose these illegal contributions.
In furtherance of the conspiracy and to accomplish its purpose and objects, ROWLAND, Foley, Wilson-Foley and others, both known and unknown to the Grand Jury, committed and caused others to commit at least one of the following overt acts, among others, in the District of Connecticut and elsewhere:
On or about September 27, 2011, ROWLAND emailed Wilson-Foley: “Does [campaign staffer] know I am ‘helping’ … should I work with him on delegate ideas/strategyl”
In or about October 2011, ROWLAND began working regularly on Wilson-Foley’s campaign.
On or about October 11, 2011, Attorney 1 emailed Foley: “[Executive 1] asked me to construct a consulting agreement between [the Nursing Home
Companyl and John Rowland. I would recommend that due to me [sic] Rowland’s background and the compliance issue that creates and links to
Lisa’s campaign that the contract be between my Law office and Mr [sic] Rowland – that way there is no connections.”
On or about October 12, 2011, Attorney 1 emailed Foley and attached a document titled, “Rowlandconsult.doc.” The email stated, “Attached is a
draft agreement b/t Rowland and my law firm. I have discussed with [Executive I and Executive 2] – please let me know if you have any revisions.” The attached draft contract referred to ROWLAND as ..the consultant.” ln a section titled “Duties,” the draft contract stated, “The consultant shall provide the following services (‘services’): a) provide education, opinions and information on the State of Connecticut and federal government’s election process; b) Assistance with the campaign of any candidate that the Nursing Home Company or its member(s) become engaged with.” A section titled “Restricted Activities” provided that, “During the Term and for a period of one (1) year after termination of this Agreement, consultant will not directly or indirectly: (i) Assist, become employed, consult or contract with any other candidate for federal or State of Connecticut office in which the [Nursing Home company] or its Managing Member is not engaged in.”
In or about the week beginning October 9, 2011, Wilson-Foley advised Campaign Worker 1 that paying ROWLAND through Foley was
advantageous to Wilson-Foley’ s campaign.
On or about October 13, 2011, Attorney 1 emailed Foley: “I spoke with [Executive 1] on the Rowland [sic] and your VM (voicemail). I’ll make the
Changes.” Read the rest of this entry »