The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, June 21, 2004  

Once Rising Republican Star to Leave Office in Disgrace

The Hartford Courant reported at mid-day today that Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland, a once fast-rising star in the Republican Party now facing impeachment proceedings, intends to announce his resignation during a televised address at 6:00 o’clock this evening.

The Courant reports (“Rowland Will Resign,” by Mark Pazniokas, Lynne Tuohy, and Jon Lender [Ed.: Link updated post-publication by]):

Rowland, 47, the target of a federal criminal investigation and Connecticut’s first gubernatorial impeachment inquiry, made his decision Saturday after consulting with his lawyers, sources said. […]

The state Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision Friday, upheld the validity of the House impeachment committee’s subpoena for Rowland’s testimony, leaving the governor with no realistic options other than defying the committee.

As the target of a federal investigation, Rowland could not afford to testify, possibly jeopardizing his defense in a criminal case. Avoiding testimony by asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination would have been a political defeat.

Sources close to Rowland said they have no idea how the resignation will factor into the ongoing grand jury investigation into corruption in his administration. Rowland’s resignation is not part of any deal with federal prosecutors, who have told other targets of their investigation that indictments are possible this summer. […]

Rowland’s resignation will take effect July 1, sources said. […]

Evidence presented during the past two weeks in televised hearings had established what newspapers had reported: Rowland had accepted a variety of favors from state contractors and close aides in violation of state ethics laws.

Such a shame, huh?

[Post-publication addendum: Additional coverage: “Connecticut Governor Announces His Resignation,” by William Yardley, the New York Times; “Connecticut Governor Anounces Resignation,” by Susan Haigh, the Associated Press.]

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