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Shays Meets With Rowland, Schedules Westport Community Meeting

U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays met privately over the weekend with Gov. John G. Rowland but did not ask him to resign from office, according to a Rowland spokesman.rowlandshayscombo.jpg

The Hartford session with the governor is expected to be among the topics the congressman will discuss in a series of district community meetings next month, including one in Westport on Jan. 17.

Dean Pagani, the governor’s chief of staff and spokesman, said the two Republicans met at the executive residence for about 2 1/2 hours.

They discussed the scandal that has enveloped Rowland since he admitted lying about renovation work done on his Bantam Lake cottage in Litchfield.

Shays has been sharply critical of Rowland, who has acknowledged accepting gifts in the form of renovation work at the cottage from a state contractor, employees and friends – including some who are under investigation as part of a federal corruption probe.

A Shays spokesperson said today the fourth district congressman will hold meetings in each of the 17 towns in his district between Jan. 10 and Jan. 18.

The Westport session has been scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 17, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Westport Public Library.

In addition to the meetings in the individual towns, Shays will hold a district-wide meeting on terrorism on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 5:30 p.m. at Wilton High School, the spokesperson said.

Shays earlier this month questioned whether Rowland could “maintain his position as governor with authority to lead” and called on Rowland to reveal all the details of the renovation.

Pagani, who did not attend Sunday’s meeting, said he was told Shays reiterated that point.

“From the governor’s perspective it went well,” Pagani said of the discussion. “He told the congressman he would take his thoughts and advice under consideration.”

Rowland called Shays by telephone on Saturday and then set up Sunday’s meeting, Pagani said. The two men served together in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Connecticut House of Representatives.

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