Through a series of charts depicting emails and phone calls, prosecutors argued Monday that former governor John Rowland communicated far more with Lisa Wilson-Foley’s congressional campaign than he did with the business paying him as a consultant.
Rowland is on trial facing charges he worked as a consultant for Wilson-Foley’s 2012 campaign but arranged to keep his payment hidden from election regulators by entering a contract with Apple Rehab, a nursing home company owned by her husband, Brian Foley.
The former governor’s lawyers have argued that Rowland’s work with Apple was legitimate, while his work on the campaign was strictly a volunteer effort. On Monday, prosecutors presented the jury with stark numbers in an effort to debunk that argument.
According to emails and phone calls reviewed by Mark Borofsky, an investigative support analyst and former postal inspector, Rowland communicated far more with individuals associated with the campaign.
Jurors saw a graph indicating that 787 — or 89 percent — of the emails reviewed between October 2011 to April 2012 were between Rowland and campaign workers. Meanwhile, 63 — or 7 percent — of the emails were between Rowland and executives at Apple Rehab, where during that period he was a paid consultant.
Emails consisting of both campaign and Apple communications made up 3 percent of the emails and 2 percent were discussions of Rowland’s contract.
Graphs depicting phone calls showed a similar balance. Between October 2011 to April 2012, Rowland had three phone calls with Apple employee Brian Bedard and six phone calls with Brian Foley. Meanwhile, he had 45 phone discussions with Wilson-Foley’s campaign manager Chris Syrek, and 65 phone calls with her consultant, Chris Healy.
Before the jury entered the courtroom Monday morning, Rowland’s attorneys objected to prosecutors’ use of the charts and graphs.
“It doesn’t speak to Mr. Rowland’s belief about his job at Apple,” defense attorney William Drake told the judge. “Mr. Rowland is free to volunteer as much or to whatever extent he wants on a political campaign. The amount of work on the campaign is not probative of whether the job at Apple was real.”
Prosecutor Liam Brennan disagreed. He slammed a binder packed full of campaign emails onto a table in front of him.
“This binder is emails from the campaign. This is highly probative of where Mr. Rowland put his work,” he said.
Judge Janet Bond Arterton agreed. The jury later saw both the graphs and the packed binder, which Borofsky compared to small packets of paper, which represented Rowland’s communications with Apple employees.
Prosecutors also attacked the defense’s argument that Rowland and Wilson-Foley were close and therefore his campaign work was a “labor of love.”
In 2010, when Wilson-Foley was running for lieutenant governor, neither Rowland nor his wife, Patricia Rowland, made any contributions to the campaign, according to an affidavit from state elections regulators.
Meanwhile, Wilson-Foley and Rowland exchanged 10 emails that year. They began communicating more as the 2012 campaign geared up. Between January 2011 and August 2011, they emailed each other 22 times.
But during the period when Rowland was being paid to consult with her husband’s company, the two exchanged 321 emails.
The emails and phone records were collected by investigators through a series of subpoenas and search warrant seizures.
When it was Drake’s turn to cross-examine Borofsky, he stressed that Borofsky and others spent more than 50 hours reviewing emails and that emails from other members of the campaign staff were analyzed.
“And none of those numbers are included in any of the charts you provided to us,” he said.