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Connecticut Ex-Governor Rowland Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Campaign Scam

Paul Bass
New Haven Independent
Former Governor John Rowland enters the federal courthouse in New Haven Wednesday.

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 months in prison in a campaign fraud case. He was also fined $35,000.

The 57-year-old Republican learned his fate in federal court in New Haven, ten years to the day that he was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for accepting illegal gifts while in office.

A jury convicted Rowland in September of conspiring to hide payments for work he did on the failed 2012 GOP congressional campaign of Lisa Wilson-Foley through a phony contract with her husband's company, and of trying to strike a similar deal in 2010 with another failed Republican congressional candidate, Mark Greenberg.

Prosecutors said Rowland should be sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

On WNPR's Where We Live, panelists on Wednesday speculated that Rowland will probably see a maximum sentence. "Our corruption has turned out to be so deeply-rooted, so stubborn a thing," said Bill Curry, a political analyst and a former gubernatorial candidate. "[There's] a need to send a clear signal to a state that has not taken care of its ethics problems. Soft corruption, as Justice Kennedy termed it in Citizens United, has become the dominant culture of American politics."

Rowland's lawyers dispute he did anything criminal, and said they plan to appeal his convictions.

WNPR's Patrick Skahill, who was at the federal courthouse in New Haven on Wednesday for the sentencing, reported that Rowland is expected to go to prison in 90 days, which gives him time to attend his step-son's wedding. Listen to his report below:

And see tweets below from the scene at the courthouse during the sentencing.

Attorney James Bergenn, a partner at Shipman and Goodwin, appeared on WNPR's Where We Live last September to talk about Rowland's case. Listen below:

This report includes information from The Associated Press.

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