December 23, 2004
Former Connecticut Govenor Pleads Guilty
AP wires report that Former Governor Rowland of Connecticut pled guilty to one count of conspiracy with the specific offense being a deprivation of honest services. The AP story notes that "[t]he plea deal ends the two-year-long investigation into corruption in the administration of Rowland, who resigned July 1 after 9 1/2 years in office." According to the AP wire, prosecutors told the judge, "that Rowland accepted $107,000 worth of vacations, work on his cottage and free flights from state contractors and others."
Rowland will likely face jail time, fines and a payment to the IRS. Although it is uncertain what sentence John Rowland will receive, and whether the sentencing guidelines of "15 to 21 months in prison," as stated by the AP story, will be controlling, it appears that this matter is over for the former governor.
Despite the fact that Rowland may soon be facing fines and jail time, this plea may be somewhat of a holiday present for the former governor. After being investigated for two years, finality to this process may offer a certain relief, even when jail time may be in his future. In some cases the jail time is not as difficult as the publicity and stigma that surrounds white collar offenders during an investigation. This is especially true when the investigation lasts for several years.
Addendum - The plea agreement can be found on Findlaw.