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Rowland Signs Off From WTIC Amid Campaign Finance Allegations

by | Apr 3, 2014 6:20pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share

Christine Stuart photo (Updated 7:29 p.m.) In the final minutes of his radio show on Thursday, former Gov. John G. Rowland announced that he was resigning from the job to attend to some “personal issues.”

The announcement came a few days after he had been implicated by Lisa Wilson-Foley and her husband, Brian Foley, as they pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in federal court.

“I wanted to thank the listeners for your loyalty. It’s been a great experience,” Rowland said. “We’ll take it from there.”

He also thanked the staff at the radio station and his producer, Ryan Cosgrove, for being the “adult supervision.”

“I appreciate it very, very much and I am truly blessed,” Rowland said. His last interview before making the abrupt announcement was with David Walker, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

WTIC Program Director Jenneen Lee said in an email that she accepted “Mr. Rowland’s decision to step down at this time.” She said Pastor Will Marotti, who previously co-hosted the show with Rowland, will take over beginning on Monday.

On Friday, the station will carry the Red Sox game during the afternoon drive.

Rowland has not been charged by federal authorities and his attorney has not returned calls for comment.

According to the Courant, Rowland was named by Wilson-Foley in court Monday as the person she and her husband paid $35,000 through their business in order to avoid reporting the fee to the Federal Elections Commission.

Wilson-Foley was concerned about Rowland showing up as a paid consultant in her campaign reports because of his previous corruption conviction. Rowland spent 10 months in prison after resigning the governor’s office in 2004 and pleading guilty to the charges.

According to court documents from the Wilson-Foley case, even Rowland himself recognized that his help could be problematic if it were to be publicized.

“I am just a volunteer helping you and ‘many other Republican candidates’ in case anyone asks,” Rowland emailed Wilson-Foley in November 2011. “I want to stay under the radar as much as possible and get the job done.”

Rowland emerged from prison in 2006, but didn’t re-enter public life until 2008 when he took a job as Waterbury’s economic development director. He later landed the gig at WTIC in 2010 and over the past few years has been encouraged by his listeners to again run for public office.

As a result of Rowland’s previous corruption conviction, the state legislature in 2005 passed its landmark public campaign financing system, which went into effect in 2006. The topic came up Thursday in Rowland’s conversation with Walker, who expressed disappointment that state contractors and their employees are not allowed to donate to campaigns, while unions are not restricted from doing so.

During Thursday’s show Rowland, said the state public campaign finance system that he inspired is a “joke.”

On Tuesday, the first day Rowland was back on the air after he was implicated by Wilson-Foley and her husband, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said WTIC should take the former governor off the air.

“The reality is that we now know enough — two people have pled guilty to this charge and have identified the party they were engaged with . . . unless there’s going to be a denial and in light of two actual pleas, both identifying who the third party was, I think any reasonable outlet would remove him at this point,” he said.

Malloy, the first publicly financed candidate, called the case “deeply disappointing for the state of Connecticut.” He said it hurt public trust in the political process.

“He had the interesting position of trying to impact and influence political discourse on an afternoon radio show. That somebody would violate that trust as well, is disturbing,” he said.

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(20) Archived Comments

posted by: Historian | April 3, 2014  6:29pm

perfect timing, FBI and Dept of Justice——

posted by: Lawrence | April 3, 2014  6:46pm


Is Chris Healy still doing “CT Capitol Report” on Fox 61 on Sunday mornings?

Because that’s next.

posted by: NoNonsense2014 | April 3, 2014  7:04pm

First good decision Rowland has made in a long time. Have to wonder, though, whether this was really his idea.

posted by: SocialButterfly | April 3, 2014  7:36pm

Gov. Malloy must now find another issue to exploit for his daily taxpayer paid press releases which he uses for his reelection advantage—with still no Republican governor candidate to compete with.

posted by: state_employee | April 3, 2014  7:43pm

Bye Guv, we’ll miss ya on the ride home…

posted by: Lawrence | April 3, 2014  7:58pm

Now you see Stan, this is why no one believes right-wingers like yourself: you just can’t tell the truth.

Please give me the link or cut and paste the governor’s “daily taxpayer paid press release” where he comments on John Rowland.

Because it doesn’t exist.

What you and other factless right-wingers are CONFUSING is the press asking the governor of their own accord his thoughts on Rowland at a public event, and the governor answering them.

Do you see the difference there, Stan? One is your right-wing delusional lie, the other is the truth.

Here is how three news outlets reported Gov. Malloy’s comment:

Meanwhile, controversy over Rowland and the Foleys grew Tuesday as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told reporters: “I think any reasonable [radio] outlet would remove him at this point.”

Malloy was asked by reporters at a Hartford press conference if Rowland should continue on the air after what came out in Monday’s court proceeding — which the Republican ex-governor did not attend.

Malloy answered, “No.”

—The Hartford Courant


Asked about the issue at an unrelated press conference, Malloy said “we all knew this was coming.” Without using Rowland’s name, Malloy said WTIC should take the former governor off the air.


“He was not serving the public office, but he had the interesting position of trying to impact and influence political discourse on an afternoon radio show. That somebody would violate that trust as well is disturbing,” Malloy said in response to reporters’ questions.


posted by: Lawrence | April 3, 2014  8:06pm

And right-wing evangelical Christian Will Marotti is going on the air again?

More hate and intolerance and stupidity from WTIC-AM. My God, WTIC—do you even know your audience in CT? Why are you grasping at straws??

WTIC-AM has now proven itself to be the SECOND WORST radio station in CT (behind WDRC-AM 1360, of course.)

Jenneen, you deserve better. I hope you’re shopping around for other work.

posted by: Janster57 | April 3, 2014  8:24pm

Sometimes you just wish it would stop. All of it.

posted by: art vandelay | April 3, 2014  8:33pm

art vandelay

I’ve never understood how people work so hard for so long getting to the pinnacle of their careers, and blow it.  John Rowland is a prime example working his way up the political ladder from a State Representative, Congressman, and Governor.  He then blows his entire career over some simple home improvement contracts and a hot tub.  He ends up in jail only to get a second chance. The City of Waterbury hires him as an Economic Development Representative and WTIC gives him a GOLDEN opportunity.  He fell into a notch where he exceeded all expectations.  Again for a measly $30,000.00 he might go back into the clink.
I’ve struggled all my life and would love just ONE break.  How stupid to blow it all. What an IDIOT. He had it made and blew it big time.

posted by: dano860 | April 3, 2014  8:59pm

He will be missed. He was the reason I never left work early and enjoyed the traffic. It is to bad we can’t get WTIC on the radio out here in the eastern woods of Ct. We can stream it though.
Johnny, thanks for all of the good memories.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | April 3, 2014  10:03pm

Well, the good Doctor has a few thoughts: let me get this one outta the way first, the only host on wtic more clueless than guv Johnny is pastor will. Flat out unlistenable. He has absolutely no grasp of any issue, any issue. Simply right wing misinformation at best.

As for Rowland, I think it’s hard to imagine that the Feds will strike a deal with him, unless he agrees to substantial time. He’s cooked.

Think about it, for 35K? What a stupid move. I could understand taking the risk for something well into the 6 figures - a life changing amount. But golly gee whiz, you can make 35K doing almost anything!

As I have said before, I think he got too much time last time around. This time, he can’t get enough.


posted by: Hebee | April 4, 2014  7:41am

Chris Donavan is scheduled to co-host with Reverend Will. They named the show ” Church and Chong”.

posted by: Salmo | April 4, 2014  3:50pm

Bye, bye John! And don’t let the door hit you in the backside on your way out.

posted by: SocialButterfly | April 4, 2014  4:09pm

aLawrence:  You are very nasty in your comments “when you even vomit"in your frequent attacks. Since you stoop so low to call me “a right-wing lier” and only condemn people by classifying them as “right-wingers” - perhaps you should give it a break.

posted by: Shame | April 4, 2014  6:37pm

Hard to believe Pastor Will did not know about the scheme.

posted by: RogueReporterCT | April 4, 2014  8:11pm


In all seriousness, I would like to thank the ex-gov for the opportunity that Capital Community College gave me to spend a priceless decade in downtown Hartford at the G. Fox building. He also chipped in to this article about it: http://www.thecanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=326:a-fresh-start-in-hartford-happy-anniversary-capital-community-college&catid=68:community&Itemid;

posted by: StillRevolting | April 4, 2014  9:01pm

Dear Dirty Johnny, Goodbye and good riddance! You have been an embarrassment to Connecticut Republicans for far too long. My only hope is that your next stretch in the pen is commensurate with your inability to learn from your mistakes. Everybody involved clearly knew this was no good when they got into it and it all just stinks worse than Route 8 on any hot summer day in the 80’s. Hey StanMuzyk, sorry that Lawrence got under your skin. He’s helping me feel better by being the embodiment of the oh-so- tolerant liberal with, “More hate and intolerance and stupidity” while describing what you can expect to hear from a preacher who is only as far right as you choose to perceive him. Many of the readers here have probably heard Pastor Will and can decide for themselves. He might be to my right too. He is hardly Fred Phelps for whom Lawrence’s description would be better reserved. Lawrence reminds me of how important it is to parse issues from ideology and I guess I’m actually happy to giggle a little at his rants.

posted by: perturbed | April 6, 2014  4:51am


Jim Shea of the Courant had a humorous take on that buffoon we call John Grosvenor Rowland:

Although the former governor did not say what those “personal issues” were, usually when an individual leaves a high-profile gig like talk show host it is because he or she has done something scandalous or illegal and suddenly feels an overwhelming need to spend more time with their family.

Another possibility, in this case, is that John G. Rowland is about to be indicted as a co-conspirator in a case involving a sham political consulting contract he had with former Republican congressional candidate Lisa-Wilson Foley and her husband Brian Foley.

This seems a little far fetched, though, because nobody could be that dumb, right?

Actually, if Jim Shea really knew our beloved ex-guv Johnny, it would be obvious that he’s just interested in the pursuit of life-long learning. Here’s an excerpt from Johnny G’s “Motivational Inspirational” website, jgrowland.com:

My thought on experience…
[url=“http://www.jgrowland.com/”]“Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with it that counts. No one learns from success, you really only learn from your mistakes and failures.”
John G.Rowland

May you never stop learning, ex-guv!

(I just wonder how many colleges and universities are lining up for his “The Ethics Dilemma in Corporate America” talk.)  ;-)


posted by: shinningstars122 | April 6, 2014  8:35am


>>>>>He later landed the gig at WTIC in 2010 and over the past few years has been encouraged by his listeners to again run for public office.

OMG! LMAO. I guess if you do a radio show with a priest all past sins are forgotten?

These people actually believe he should have been in office once more?

Honestly WTIC has become a joke, well except for covering UConn and the Red Sox, when it comes to journalistic integrity.

I mean if you ever listened to his show the man takes no responsibility for what has occurred in our state.

WTIC should have fired Rowland but no lets circle our wagons and let the man “resign” with dignity.

It hilarious that Wilson-Foley would ever ” hire” this man…  she isclearly an idiot and it gonna ruin her life.

Although in 5 years she can get the evening drive show at WTIC and her audience can encourage her to run for office again.

posted by: perturbed | April 6, 2014  10:56pm


Quick! If you act now, you might be able to book Johnny for a Motivational Inspirational Speech (but hurry, before he’s “otherwise engaged”). See his “Themes for consideration” along the right side of his webpage, available through this link for your convenience: Motivational Inspirational Speaker, former Governor of Connecticut John G. Rowland

Contact info is at the bottom of the page:

To discuss potential speaking engagements, contact former Governor John G. Rowland at 203-758-1117 or e-mail his office [email protected]

Available for:

☻  Corporate Off-Site Training
☻  Employee Training Seminars
☻  Management Team Building

Themes for consideration:

☻  Overcoming adversity and surviving
☻  The Rise to Power, the Arrogance of Power, and the “Real” Power.
☻  Developing Leadership skills.
☻  You’ve Achieved Success, Now What About Substance?
☻  The Role of Faith in the Workplace.

For Colleges and Universities:

☻  The Ethics Dilemma in Corporate America
☻  An Inside Look at the Workings of Washington
☻  Choosing to Serve the People: A Career in Public Service

(You just can’t make this stuff up!)

How sad but fitting: a sleazy, phony little web page for a sleazy, phony sort of disgraced corrupt ex-governor.


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