Testimony Concludes Without Ex-Governor Taking The Stand

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Testimony in John Rowland's federal conspiracy trial wrapped up at federal court in New Haven Wednesday morning without the former governor taking the stand.

Judge Janet Bond Arterton previously had warned Rowland tha, if he chose to take the stand he would be subject to questioning about his corruption conviction in 2005.

The testimony of two key witnesses--one who works for the other--will likely be a major factor in what the jury decides.

On his final day on the stand, the key testimony of Brian Bedard, the Apple healthcare CEO, centered on what his boss, Brian Foley, told Bedard after accepting a government plea deal on March 31.

Bedard testified that Foley told him many times that he and John Rowland never structured their deal with the understanding that Mr. Rowland was going to be paid by Foley's business, but actually work almost exclusively for his wife's congressional campaign.

"That, to me at least, seems to exonerate Mr. Rowland," said Bedard's attorney, Hugh Keefe.

But, last week Brian Foley testified he and Rowland were on the same page. To back his claim, federal prosecutors introduced an email, from Rowland to Foley, which read, in part, "I get it."

During cross-examination, the former governor's attorney asked Foley, "Isn't it also a possibility that 'I get it' could mean that he understood that he was too controversial and was just genuinely interested in working for Apple Halthcare?"

Foley responded, "It's possible."

In an attempt to discredit Bedard, the prosecution brought out another key email.

This one was sent from Bedard to Mr. Foley three weeks before the consulting agreement was finalized in October 2011.

The email read "working on consulting document between John and Apple." This seems to go against Bedard's earlier testimony that he had nothing to do with constructing Rowland's consulting agreement

Another witness, who was in charge of delivering the subpoena to Apple healthcare 2 1/2 years ago, testified today that the Bedard email to Foley was among those that was initially not turned over to the feds by Bedard's IT manager. However, this morning, Bedard's lawyer says he presented both the prosecution and defense with critical emails that clear his client.

"He was asked verbally about that compliance yesterday," Keefe said. "These emails, which he retrieved last night, corroborated what he said, in other words, proof he told the truth about it."

The prosecution and defense will each have 90 minutes to present their closing arguments. The judge will then put Rowland's fate in the hands of the jury Thursday afternoon.

As a recap, Rowland is charged with two counts of falsification of records in a federal investigation, which carries a 40-year maximum sentence, one count of conspiracy, which carries a five-year maximum sentence, two counts of causing false statements to the FEC, which carries a 10-year maximum sentence, and two counts of illegal campaign contributions, which carries a two-year maximum sentence.

If he's found guilty on all charges, Rowland faces up to 57 years in prison.

Related story:

Rowland Defense Rests Case, Closing Arguments Thursday

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