Former Gov. Rowland to appeal campaign fraud conviction - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Former Gov. Rowland to appeal campaign fraud conviction

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Former Gov. John Rowland appeared in New York court on Friday. (WFSB photo) Former Gov. John Rowland appeared in New York court on Friday. (WFSB photo)
(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

A former governor has taken a step to avoid a second trip to prison.

John Rowland appeared in a New York federal courtroom Friday morning seeking to overturn the conviction related to failed candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley's run for the 5th Congressional District. 

The hearing was meant to determine if Rowland will get another trial, another sentencing or be denied everything.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of appeals began hearing the appeal at 10 a.m. on Friday.

Rowland left the courthouse with his wife Patty and daughter after the short hearing.

"We have no comment," Rowland said.

Rowland was convicted of conspiring to hide payments for work he did on the 2012 campaign and trying to do the same on the failed 2010 congressional bid of Republican Mark Greenberg.

Prosecutors said the convictions should stand.

Rowland's lawyers said they're appealing because the prosecution withheld evidence favorable for the defense. The hearing focused on a contract between Rowland and Greenberg.

Prosecutors said the contract was a false document because Rowland was trying to conceal his work for Greenberg's campaign in order to get paid by Greenberg's company.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Brennan told justices it was clear during the trial that "Greenberg said this agreement was about political consulting and nothing else. It was about the campaign."

He said that the contract was an attempt to impede a federal investigation.

Rowland's lawyer, however, argued that it was not a falsified document because there was no agreement, just a proposal.

Despite being sentenced a year ago to two and a half years in prison, Rowland remains free on bail. 

He's hoping to avoid another term behind bars.

Rowland resigned as governor in 2004 during a corruption scandal that sent him to prison for 10 months.

Justices could make a ruling on Saturday.

However, officials said it could take weeks or months before the court rules on the appeal.

If Rowland is not successful, he could take his case to the Supreme Court. However, some say that's unlikely.

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