Former Gov. John G. Rowland, who resigned 10 years ago in a corruption scandal that sent him to prison, was indicted yesterday on charges he tried to hide his role in two congressional campaigns. Former Republican congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley and her husband pleaded guilty March 31 to a scheme to create a phony contract that hid the consulting role prosecutors say Rowland played in her campaign. Authorities say Rowland provided nominal services to Foley's nursing home company to create a cover that he was being paid for those services instead of work for Wilson-Foley's campaign. Authorities allege Wilson-Foley wanted Rowland to work on her 2012 primary campaign but believed that because Rowland had been convicted of a felony, disclosure of his paid role in the campaign would result in negative publicity.
In one email, authorities say, Rowland wrote that "I want to stay under the radar as much as possible" and that "after Clark gets out of the race it can be different." Mike Clark, a former FBI agent, was a candidate in the Republican primary and filed a federal elections complaint over the payments—$35,000—made to Rowland. The payments originated with Foley and constituted campaign contributions but were not reported to the Federal Election Commission, in violation of federal campaign finance laws, prosecutors said. Rowland also allegedly devised a scheme to covertly work for the campaign of a candidate seeking election to the same congressional seat during the 2009 and 2010 election cycle. Rowland is expected to be arraigned today on the latest charges, which include two counts of falsifying records in a federal investigation, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years for a conviction on each count. Wilson-Foley, who lost the Republican primary, and her husband each face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 at sentencing.