Prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence Lisa Wilson-Foley to 10 months in prison despite her guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge. The feds claim Wilson-Foley was uncooperative in their case against former Gov. John G. Rowland.
In court documents filed Monday, U.S. Attorneys sought a sentence of nearly a year for the former Republican 5th Congressional District candidate.
“Ms. Wilson-Foley was the candidate and perhaps the only individual with the authority to put a stop to the conspiracy at any time. Instead, she embraced Mr. Rowland’s illicit role in her campaign and took full advantage of the illegal arrangement,” they wrote.
In related filings, prosecutors asked Judge Janet Bond Arterton for leniency for Wilson-Foley’s husband, Brian Foley. Both Foleys have pleaded guilty to conspiring to hide their hiring of Rowland as a campaign consultant on Wilson-Foley’s 2012 campaign.
But while Brian Foley, a wealthy owner of a nursing home chain called Apple Rehab, helped the government convince a jury to convict Rowland of seven felony charges, Wilson-Foley never took the stand during Rowland’s trial. In a sentencing memo, prosecutors describe her as unwilling to admit her role in the conspiracy.
“For whatever reason, Ms. Wilson-Foley seems incapable of candidly admitting what the trial evidence established: in September 2011, she, her husband and Mr. Rowland had an understanding that Mr. Rowland would be paid for campaign work through Apple in order to prevent the public and the FEC from discovering the fact that Mr. Rowland was being paid to assist Ms. Wilson-Foley’s campaign,” they wrote.
The U.S. Attorneys did not recommend a specific sentence for Brian Foley. Instead they asked Arterton to give him a lighter sentence than the 12-month term they say falls within federal sentencing guidelines.
In a 19-page memo, they describe Brian Foley as unlawful, unethical, and rarely “burdened by the wrongfulness of his criminal activity.” But they also ask the judge to balance Foley’s “intolerable” behavior with the need to provide an incentive for guilty parties to cooperate with government investigators.
Prosecutors described Foley’s cooperation as highly useful in their case against Rowland.
“Brian Foley’s cooperation gave the government — and the jury — an insight directly into the conspiracy. This was significant,” they wrote.
Brian Foley is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9 and Lisa Wilson-Foley is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 13. In separate documents filed Monday, separate lawyers for the husband and wife asked for terms of probation instead of jail time.
Neither stands to serve as much prison time as Rowland, who will be sentenced on Jan. 7. Prosecutors have asked Arterton to consider sending the now twice-convicted former governor away for as much as 46 months.
In Lisa Wilson-Foley’s sentencing document, U.S. Attorneys said the disparity between the sentences is appropriate given Rowland’s history and conduct. The former governor’s crimes were spread over two campaign cycles. They also have asked Arterton to enhance Rowland’s punishment because they say he obstructed their investigation.
“The gap between Ms. Wilson-Foley’s guideline range (10 to 12 months) and Mr. Rowland’s guideline range (37 to 46 months) is due largely to the obstruction enhancement, his criminal history category and his lack of acceptance of responsibility. Therefore, the gap appropriately reflects his history and culpability. Sentences within the respective guideline ranges would not create an unwarranted disparity,” they wrote.