A federal judge on Sunday indefinitely postponed the sentencing for a former congressional candidate involved in a campaign finance scandal that led to the second conviction of former Gov. John G. Rowland.
U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton postponed the sentencing of Lisa Wilson-Foley until the court can sort through the claims “raised in the filings for United States v. Rowland.”
The issue is whether the U.S. attorney’s office disclosed all the information it should have to Rowland’s defense team before the September trial. Rowland’s attorney raised the issue of disclosure after reading the brief filed by Wilson-Foley’s attorneys on Dec. 29. Rowland’s attorneys used the information in Wilson-Foley’s sentencing memo to successfully postpone the former governor’s sentencing, which also has yet to be rescheduled.
In a Jan. 2 letter to the court, Rowland’s attorney, Reid Weingarten, said Wilson-Foley’s attorney had a lengthy dialogue with the government and “attempted to convince in that, for much of the alleged conspiracy, Ms. Wilson-Foley in good faith believes that Mr. Rowland was doing real work at Apple.”
Apple Rehab is the chain of nursing homes owned by Wilson-Foley’s husband, Brian Foley, who testified at Rowland’s trial that the contract Rowland had to do work with the nursing homes was a sham and that he really was paying him to work on his wife’s 2012 congressional campaign. But Wilson-Foley, who did not testify at the trial and faces jail time, claims she always thought Rowland was working for Apple.
“We do not believe that any information from these conversations was produced to Mr. Rowland by the Government,” Weingarten wrote. “Ms. Wilson-Foley’s representations, if accurate, are highly favorable to Mr. Rowland. They are entirely consistent with Mr. Rowland’s theory of the case at trial: that there was no conspiracy and that any illicit intent was secreted in Mr. Foley’s mind.”
The government has dismissed these accusations that they withheld any information or acted inappropriately.
In court documents, prosecutors said the new argument is just Wilson-Foley trying to deny her knowledge of the crime that she pleaded guilty to last March.
“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,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.
Wilson-Foley’s attorney, Craig Raabe, wrote in court documents Friday that Wilson-Foley has never deviated from her recollection that her husband hired Rowland to work for the nursing home chain.
“Wilson-Foley’s position and her and her counsel’s statements to the Government have been consistent,” Raabe wrote.
Attached to the filing Friday was a sealed affidavit from Raabe, who attended the meeting March 10 with Wilson-Foley and the government.
Brian Foley, who cooperated with the government, was sentenced two week’s ago to three years of probation and three months in a halfway house for misdemeanor crimes.