Rowland pleads not guilty to political corruption

John Rowland and his attorney enter federal court in New Haven, April 11, 2014. (WTNH)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland entered not guilty pleas Friday to federal political corruption charges.

Rowland, 56, walked into federal court in New Haven with Reid Weingarten, his Washington D.C.-based attorney. Appearing before the judge, Weingarten said they are eager to go to trial.

“We’re looking forward to this trial and we fully expect our client to be fully vindicated,” Weingarten told reporters gathered outside the courthouse, the same courthouse where, 10 years earlier, Rowland pleaded guilty to corruption charges. He would serve 10 months in federal prison.

Bail was set at $250,000.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin on June 10.

Rowland spent 10 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in 2004.

Below is an earlier story…

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — For the second time in decade former governor John Rowland will be in federal court facing political corruption charges.

Just a week ago Rowland resigned from his radio talk show and late yesterday was indicted on seven counts by a federal grand jury in New Haven.

MORE: Read the full press release outlining the indictment

His court date is at federal court in New Haven, the same courthouse where he plead guilty to political corruption charges in December of 2004, and became the first Connecticut governor in state history to be sent to federal prison. he spent ten months in prison.

Now Rowland could be facing an even longer sentence.

When he resigned from his radio show last week Rowland said he was leaving to take care of some personal matters. Rumors have been circulating for months that he has been negotiating a plea deal with federal prosecutors. It’s been reported that he turned down one deal.

TIMELINE: Rowland political career and criminal charges

The indictment says he tried unsuccessfully to get one Republican candidate for Congress to pay him under the table for campaign work, an offer that was refused by 5th District Republican candidate Mark Greenberg.

The indictment says he then successfully got another Republican congressional candidate, Lisa-Wilson Foley, to go for the illegal deal. She and her husband pleaded guilty and have been cooperating with the feds.

RELATED: Rowland resigns from talk show amid conspiracy allegations

Penalties for all seven charges Rowland faces amount to more than fifty years. What we should find out this afternoon is whether Rowland will take another plea deal or try to fight the charges in a federal jury trial.

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