Lisa Wilson-Foley, of Simsbury, responded to Mike Clark, of Farmington, Wednesday afternoon, hours after Clark announced he would file a federal elections complaint against Wilson-Foley to force her to disclose any consulting work done on her campaign by former Gov. John G. Rowland, whom Clark investigated and brought to justice as an FBI agent.
Clark, a former Farmington Town Council chairman and Fifth District Congressional candidate, sent a release today, calling for his opponent, Wilson-Foley to disclose whether Rowland had done consulting for her campaign and the nature of any financial dealings she, her husband or his company, Apple Rehab, had with Rowland.
According to the Register Citizen, Rowland offered campaign consulting services to Mark Greenburg prior to the 2010 election, but requested to be paid through Greenburg's nonprofit animal shelter. The paper also reported that Rowland was paid for consulting work by Wilson-Foley's husband's business, Apple Rehab, earlier this year.
Wilson-Foley responded by providing Clark and the other three Republicans in the Fifth District Congressional race with financial statements describing the nature of Rowland's relationship with Wilson-Foley, Brian Foley and Apple Rehab, as well as a consulting agreement to pay Rowland $5,000 a month for services rendered for a 6-month period beginning Oct. 1, 2011 and ending March 31, 2012. The contract is between Rowland and Christian B. Shelton, Attorney at Law in Branford, CT.
Wilson-Foley issued a statement that said, in part, "The role of John G. Rowland in the Lisa Wilson Foley campaign is one of a volunteer, someone who offers support and guidance. Governor Rowland has been a friend of Lisa and Brian Foley for two decades. His guidance and advice has and is being sought by many Republican candidates in Connecticut."
Brian Foley, president of Apple Rehab, said that Rowland, with whom the company's leadership has had a relationship for two decades, was hired to work with executive management on several short-term initiatives.
"As a former executive leader, Mr. Rowland's experience providing fundamental solutions to complex issues positioned him to consult on a myriad of issues relevant to the management of a large and diverse health care organization," Foley wrote.
Wilson-Foley states that there were no contracts or payments between Rowland and Lisa Wilson Foley for Congress 2012 or between Rowland, Wilson-Foley and her companies or her family.
Political blogger Kevin Rennie reports that the attorney named in the consulting agreement with Rowland, Christian Shelton, both donated to Wilson-Foley's campaign and was reimbursed by it. Read Rennie's article here.
Clark released the following statement this morning:
“During my 22 years as an FBI Special Agent, I investigated and fought corruption in municipal and state government. With a team of agents and prosecutors, I worked to put politicians behind bars who used taxpayer dollars for personal interest, including former Governor John Rowland.
"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. 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. 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.
"My investigations ensured that Connecticut citizens have increased transparency and accountability from their elected officials. I call on Lisa Wilson-Foley personally to immediately provide the transparency required of a public servant."
"Lisa Wilson-Foley must publicly disclose any and all agreements between Brian Foley, his associated businesses, and John Rowland. She must disclose all agreements between herself, her campaign, Apple Rehab 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. Further, I have instructed my staff to file a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission, seeking its investigation regarding this alleged activity.
"Credibility and character cannot be overlooked in this race. In light of these questionable circumstances, condoning Wilson-Foley’s candidacy will only serve to hand the Fifth District seat to the Democrats.”