NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A congressional candidate in Connecticut said Wednesday that her husband's company paid former Gov. John G. Rowland $5,000 per month to work as a consultant, a disclosure that came in response to sharp criticism from an opponent who investigated Rowland for corruption.
Lisa Wilson-Foley made the disclosure Wednesday in response to a demand by Mike Clark, a fellow Republican running against Wilson-Foley in the 5th Congressional District. Clark, a retired FBI agent, supervised a corruption investigation that sent Rowland to prison for 10 months.
Wilson-Foley said her husband's company paid Rowland $5,000 per month for six months, ending in March. Rowland consulted on labor relations issues and visited health care facilities, providing feedback on business development initiatives, her husband said in a statement.
Chris Healy, Wilson-Foley's campaign spokesman, said Rowland is a volunteer adviser to the campaign who had a consulting relationship with Wilson-Foley's husband's company. He said the arrangement had "absolutely nothing" to do with the campaign.
Wilson-Foley said Rowland has been a friend of the couple for two decades, and his advice has been sought by many Republican candidates in Connecticut.
"As one of only a few Republicans who have won statewide office over the last 40 years, John Rowland has a wealth of experience that has been a welcome addition to the campaign and will continue to be involved," Wilson-Foley's campaign said in a statement.
Clark said he would file a Federal Elections Commission complaint Wednesday and he demanded Lisa Wilson-Foley disclose any financial agreements between her family and campaign and Rowland's family.
"I am dismayed that Lisa Wilson-Foley appears to have turned towards the very corruption I fought by welcoming assistance from the formerly-jailed ex-Governor," Clark said in a statement. "An alliance between a Congressional candidate and a convicted felon who was found to have deceived the residents of Connecticut from the state's highest office is mind-boggling."
Messages were left for Rowland.
Another candidate in the race, Mark Greenberg, turned down a proposal by Rowland in which he would help his campaign in 2010 and be paid through a nonprofit animal shelter he and his wife operate, said Chris Cooper, Greenberg's spokesman. The New Haven Register first reported Cooper's account of what occurred.
"This does more than raise eyebrows - it calls into question the very integrity of Wilson-Foley's campaign, particularly as evidence continues to surface regarding Rowland's past attempts to receive campaign money from other candidates through illicit means," Clark said.
Clark said Wilson-Foley must publicly disclose any agreements between her husband, Brian Foley, his businesses and Rowland, as well as between herself, her campaign, her husband's company and any member of the Rowland family.
"These disclosures must include all dates and amounts of payments, as well as full explanations for any non-disclosure to this point," Clark said.
Clark said he's asking the FEC to investigate any such payments and agreements.
Wilson-Foley said her companies and campaign have not had any financial relationships with Rowland or his family.
State Sen. Andrew Roraback, another Republican seeking the seat, sent a letter to Wilson-Foley Wednesday urging her to answer all questions "relating to the role John Rowland has played in the businesses you and your husband own and in this campaign."