NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Former Governor John Rowland may be headed back to federal prison. He was found guilty in New Haven federal court Friday on all seven corruption charges. The sentences on these charges range from one year to twenty. His sentence ten years ago was just eleven months but that was in a plea deal. This time the feds threw the book at him and they got guilty verdicts on every charge.
“We will go to appeal in this case…for sure.,” said Rowland’s lawyer, Reid Weingarten on the court house steps in New Haven after the verdict. Weingarten has characterized the government’s case as making a mountain out of a mole hill.
But the jury of 7 women and 5 men didn’t see it that way finding him guilty on all counts after about six hours of deliberations.
“The jury’s verdict, I think sends a very clear and simple message to candidates, people who work for campaigns,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Gustafson.
The message is; don’t try to hide who’s paying for campaign strategy or campaign operations from the public.
Rowland was found guilty on all seven charges that he attempted to enter into a phoney, illegal, consulting contract with a congressional candidate in 2010 and that he succeeded in getting an illegal phoney contract with a congressional candidate in 2012. He was paid under the table in violation of federal election laws.
The assistant U.S. attorney saying it all must be transparent, “it ought to be, no it has to be that voters know that what they see is what they get, in this case, the defendant and others, didn’t want that to happen.”
The judge set sentencing for December 12, almost ten years to the day when he was sentenced the first time for corruption at the very same courthouse.
“We think there were many, many interesting, very serious, legal issues litigated in this case and we’re very much looking forward to litigating them further,” added Attorney Weingarten.
Aron Goode of New Haven said, “I think the prosecution did a good job trying the case and I think the jury deliberation was very short, I think they left them in very little doubt.”
Maria Cruz of New Haven adding, “it’s not fair what he did, he’s got to pay (for) what he did, he’s got to pay…you know what I mean?”
Frederick White of New Haven said, “I think it was obvious that he would be found guilty because he’s just blatantly trying to get paid.”
The federal prosecutors said they would have no objection if Rowland wants to postpone sentencing until after the Christmas and New Year holidays.