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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Rowland hires new attorney from prison

As legal problems continue to mount and faced with the real possibility that he violated the state's "revolving door" law, former governor John Rowland drops lawyer William F. Dow III (responsible for reducing his jail sentance to one year and a day) and hires R. Bartley Halloran, a highly respected lawyer who specializes in ethic laws.

He's going to need Halloran help because his legal troubles are far from over.

From the New York Times:

Mr. Rowland has been incarcerated since April at a federal prison in Loretto, Pa., serving a sentence of a year and a day after pleading guilty last December to a charge he conspired to trade his office for favors and to commit tax fraud.

But he remains a possible target of state prosecutors because of consulting work he accepted after he resigned from office last July. That work has been the subject of legislative hearings and civil and criminal investigations by the state, largely because of the possibility that it violated the state's "revolving-door" laws. Those laws bar public officials from representing clients before their former agencies for a year after leaving government service. But it is less than clear whether the ban applies solely to the governor's office or to the entire executive branch.

As the state investigations have heated up, lawyers involved in Mr. Rowland's long-running legal problems said that he broke off earlier this month with William F. Dow III, the New Haven lawyer who represented him through an impeachment inquiry by state lawmakers in the months before he resigned. Mr. Dow then went on to negotiate a one-count guilty plea with federal prosecutors and convince Judge Peter C. Dorsey of United States District Court to give Mr. Rowland a much lighter sentence than the one the United States attorney's office was seeking.


The state has been looking closely at consulting contracts Mr. Rowland received from two clients, both of which have done business with the State of Connecticut.

The National Science Center Foundation paid Mr. Rowland $10,000 a month. A Georgia-based supplier of math software, the foundation received $1.6 million from Connecticut while Mr. Rowland was governor.

The more problematic contract, according to lawyers who have reviewed the case, paid Mr. Rowland $5,000 a month. It was from the Klewin Building Company of Norwich, a major contractor that reaped $89 million in payments from the state during Mr. Rowland's tenure.

Last November, Mr. Rowland approached an official from the University of Connecticut on Klewin's behalf to settle a $2 million billing dispute it had with the state over work it did in connection with a $33 million marine science center in Groton.

And to believe that for years, Rowland insisted that he did nothing wrong and blamed his troubles on the press (who can forget Patti Rowland Christmas poem). The disgrace be brought to the state can not (and should not) be forgiven.

I have no pity for him and I hope Halloran drains his pockets.