Corrupticut lives. After a flurry of stories over the past few weeks about the latest corruption scandals in the state, we’re back to the familiar waiting period. Convicted former Gov. John Rowland continues his afternoon radio show on WTIC-AM despite all signs that his alleged 2012 election cycle scam is about to come crashing down on him. Meanwhile, speculation is running rampant about how far the FBI’s probe of the dealings of state House GOP chief of staff George Gallo will reach.
A federal grand jury sitting in New Haven continues to investigate Rowland. Back in 2012, Rowland claims he was a volunteer advisor to the congressional campaign of Lisa Wilson-Foley. At the same time however, he was receiving “consulting” fees from Wilson-Foley’s husband who owns a chain of rehab facilities. Congressional candidate Mark Greenberg says Rowland approached him proposing a similar set-up in 2010 but Greenberg declined. Now, Brian Foley is reportedly cooperating with government prosecutors. Not good news for Rowland.
The grand jury must be getting close to acting because Rowland went out and hired big shot lawyer Reid H. Weingarten, a top defense attorney from Washington, DC.
The whole situation puts WTIC in a jam. The latest round of stories has led to a clarion call for the station to take Rowland off the air. The heritage radio station is caught in a strange place. It’s not like Rowland was up to some allegedly fraudulent behavior off the air and was just doing his show as normal. He actually used the radio station and used his radio show to further his alleged scheme.
While concealing his relationship with Wilson-Foley and her husband, Rowland was on the air hammering away at Wilson-Foley’s chief rival (and eventual nominee) Andrew Roraback, an honorable guy who deserved better.
The time for WTIC to fire Rowland was back then, when it was revealed he was “advising” Wilson-Foley while playing her up on WTIC’s airwaves. Instead, the solution was to have Rowland refrain from discussing the Fifth District race. Brilliant. So now we wait to see how hard the hammer comes down on Rowland although it seems the only way he comes off the air is if he heads back to the hoosegow which is entirely possible.
It had been some time since the FBI raided offices at the state capitol. So agents made themselves right at home as they investigate the state Republican House caucus’ relationship with a Florida printing and mail operation. Apparently the feds are looking into whether GOP candidates were steered to use the Florida firm in exchange for finder’s fees otherwise know kickbacks.
House Republican chief of staff George Gallo, a former state party chair, quickly beat feet and resigned as being identified as a “person of interest.” House Republican leader Larry Cafero retreated into the safe “We will cooperate fully” position. Cafero appears weary from recent scandals.
So how far will this scandal spread? It’s already reached the Republican Senate caucus with at least one senator interview. Rarely do these things happen in a vacuum. It would be surprising if Gallo was the only one in on whatever was going on but we’ll see.
Another year, another corruption scandal in Corrupticut.