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Friday, April 11, 2014

As Curtain Goes Up, Rowland Promises a Different Ending

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

New Haven – The last time was different. John G. Rowland arrived with an entourage, a cordon of protectors at his sentencing a decade ago. Awaiting him then were political activists intent on a last word with their toppled governor. A guy in a mask waved a sign, “See ya in Hell, Johnny.”

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John Rowland leaves the federal courthouse in New Haven today with one of his attorneys. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Douglas Healey for WestportNow.com

Today, Rowland was more an object of media curiosity than public scorn. Connecticut’s 86th governor was the first to win three four-year terms, the first to resign in the face of impeachment, and the first to go to prison. But this is the second time he climbed the steps to the U.S. Courthouse here to keep an appointment with a judge.

The curtain was going up on what his lawyer, Reid H. Weingarten, promised will be a different show, a new story that ends with a trial and a verdict, not a negotiated plea. Rowland was here to be arraigned on new charges in connection with what authorities say was his soliciting two congressional campaigns in 2010 and 2012 to secretly pay him as a political consultant.

“We will have an aggressive challenge to these charges,” Weingarten told reporters. “We are looking forward to it. Most of all we are looking forward to this trial, and we fully expect our client to be fully vindicated.”

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