A Rowland Trial Would Captivate the State

The public loves a good scandal. If it involves sex, money and a famous person, you’ve got a recipe for people being glued to every witness testimony, objection and ruling. The latest episode of the Rowland Chronicles lacks the sex but is big on everything else. A trial in the latest federal corruption case against Rowland would grip the state like no other in recent history.

There’s been collective head shaking in the state about Rowland. How could he be involved in yet another case of corruption? To make things more curious, the indictment alleges it was Rowland who came up with the scheme to help a congressional candidate as a “volunteer” and then get paid through the candidate’s other business interest as a consultant. It was Rowland who approached the candidates according to the indictment. It’s just sad.

The betrayal goes beyond the alleged criminal activity. When Rowland got out of the slammer, he was supposedly transformed by new-found religious faith. The conversion to a new way of life for Rowland was shepherded by Pastor Will Marotti of the New Life Church in Wallingford.

Marotti was Rowland spiritual advisor. In 2005, he said, “John Rowland today is not the same guy he was in 2003. He’s very much in tune with his weakness, more sensitive and more humble.” And apparently still scheming, conniving, money-grubbing and corrupt.

What does this say about the pastor’s performance? Did he have any idea that Rowland was up to his old tricks? Marotti was Rowland’s partner on WTIC-AM radio as they co-hosted a talk show. Later, when Rowland was the sole host of afternoon drive, Marotti still hosted shows on the station. Ironically, since Rowland left the station it’s Marotti who has hosted the afternoon drive show.

In any event, Rowland’s high-priced defense lawyer has promised to take the case to trial. As a longtime politico in Connecticut, I couldn’t have heard better news.